KPSC scam: Top court orders trial of candidates for forgery

KPSC scam: Top court orders trial of candidates for forgery

The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its anguish over the sorry state of affair in Karnataka where even people occupying constitutional posts such as the KPSC chairman faced trial for fraud and cheating in the selection of candidates to the government posts.

"The (former) chairman of the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) is facing a criminal trial. What has this country come up to," a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi said.

The court made its oral remarks while ordering trial of Karnataka Administrative Service officers – Asha Parveen S M and Salma Firdose (both from 1998 batch), and KSPC staff K Narasimha and M B Banakar (both from 2004) and P Gopi Krishna, personal assistant to Dr H N Krishna, then KPSC member who later became chairman.

In separate proceedings, the top court recently upheld the High Court of Karnataka's order for revising the selection list of 1998, 1999 and 2004 batches, after finding large-scale irregularities.

On Friday, the apex court was hearing a plea by the state government against the high court's order of July 16, 2015. The state government contended that the HC's order quashing the entire criminal proceedings, relating to the offence of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, among others, against the accused had resulted in grave miscarriage of justice.

The court rejected a plea made by senior advocate Basava Prabhu Patil, representing Asha and others, who contended that the fact that they belonged to Muslim backward category was not disputed.

Advocate Joseph Aristotle, appearing for the state government, submitted that the forensic report sent by the Hyderabad lab proved that there was fudging in their caste certificates.

"It is a very very serious charge. The matter should be examined in the trial. The second set of forensic reports clearly stated it was not the signature of the official who was said to have issued the certificate," the bench said.

Aristotle also pointed that the Bengaluru lab official who gave wrong forensic report faced the adverse proceedings.

"We have examined the matter. It is considered a fit case for trial, which will commence now and conclude as expeditiously as possible," the bench ordered.

The case against the accused was registered in the Vidhan Soudha police station on August 11, 2011, on the basis of the investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The enquiry was ordered by the HC into the irregularities in the recruitment process of Group A and B officers by the KPSC in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

Besides, the five accused, the charge sheet was also filed against Krishna, who later became the KPSC chairman. The state government contended that the HC had on March 17, 2016, dismissed a similar plea for quashing of the proceedings against Krishna. Subsequently, the apex court too had dismissed a special leave petition by Krishna against the HC's order.

 

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