Govt's delay may aid accused in prosecutor recruitment scam

The state government is sitting over the file seeking prosecution sanction order (PSO) against an administrative officer at the Directorate of Prosecution in connection with irregularities in the recruitment of 197 assistant public prosecutors (APPs).

Accused Narayanaswamy, arrested by the Lokayukta police early this year, meanwhile filed a fresh application for bail since the police could not file a chargesheet. Narayanaswamy is still in judicial custody.

The Lokayukta police completed the investigation into Narayanaswamy’s role in the case. The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) had confirmed the handwriting of Narayanaswamy in the fudged answer sheets. The police had arrested Narayanaswamy in March 2017. After receiving the FSL report, the police sent a request to the government seeking PSO four weeks back. However, the file is pending with the Home Department.

An official said that since Narayanaswamy has already spent 60 days in judicial custody, he is entitled to move an application seeking bail.

The police had sent as many as 75 answer sheets, suspected to have been manipulated after the examination. A source said that the FSL report stated that a senior judicial officer's signature was forged by Narayanaswamy. The report not only confirmed the handwriting but also pointed out to different type of stapler pins used in the fudged answer scripts.  The Lokayukta police had started the investigation in 2014. The notification calling for applications for the post of APPs was issued in 2012 and later the written examination was held. The allegation was that the answer sheets were manipulated and the final list too was fudged. Main accused Chandrashekhar Hiremath, former director of prosecution, had allegedly tampered with the answer sheets. In a subsequent search at his house, the Lokayukta police had seized empty answer sheets.

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