New Delhi: A “mini Vyapam” scam might have happened in the selection of officials in the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Central Information Commission has said underlining the need to probe the matter.
The observations came when Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu was adjudicating a case of Harinder Dhingra, a candidate for a position in the ESIC, Faridabad, who alleged that signatures of candidates who appeared in recruitment examinations and those appointed LDC are different. Dhingra alleged the signatures of candidates on admit card and attendance sheet of successful candidates appointed as LDC are different from the signatures of persons who appeared for said examination on September 20, 2009.
The CBI had registered 170 FIRs to look into the scam, which relates to alleged massive irregularities in recruitment to government jobs and selection for various courses like engineering and medical conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), abbreviated in Hindi as ‘Vyapam’. “To a lay man like undersigned who is not a handwriting expert the difference is quite evident. It is evident that abovementioned candidates who applied and were appointed LDC in ESIC were not the ones who appeared for examination. It was a la Munna Bhai MBBS (Hindi Film) movement,” Dhingra alleged.
Through his RTI application, Dhingra, among other details also sought the thumb impression of the candidates who had appeared for the examination in 2009. The thumb impressions were not collected during the examination hence were not provided to him. Dhingra claimed that EPIC had provided the information as available, it has not taken cognisance into the serious scandal pointed out in his various RTI applications.
“The very purpose of the RTI Act is to empower a citizen to question the inaction in the form of seeking information. It is clear from his applications and representations that something is seriously wrong and a kind of mini “vyapam” scandal might have happened in the public authority,” Acharyulu pointed out. Dhingra alleged that around 800 candidates were appointed to various posts by conducting various examinations at different regional offices of the public authority, and he suspects hundreds of impersonations, he said. “The Commission is surprised to know that nothing was initiated to probe this Munna Bhai filmy type of impersonation scandal in spite of detailed RTI requests along with relevant copies in at least 11 cases,” he said.
“It is surprising that the public authority could not discover such a serious issue of impersonation from the documents submitted by the applicant and the files available with their own office,” he said. Acharyulu said there is a huge public interest in the batch of RTI applications filed by the appellant. “The Commission finds an urgent need to probe into this impersonation scandal,” he said, adding order should be marked to the Minister of Labour and Secretary for further action.