The Congress government on Tuesday disbanded the Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission whose functioning was suspended after a paper leak was detected in December last year.
“The reports of departmental inquiry and vigilance bureau pointed out irregularities and papers were being leaked and sold to selective people for the past three years” following which the state government has decided to dissolve the commission with immediate effect, said Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.
He said complaints were also received regarding the papers held recently by the HPSSC, headquartered in Hamirpur.
The ongoing recruitment process from HPSSC has been transferred to Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (HPPSC), Shimla, for the convenience of candidates till further alternative arrangements are made or a testing agency is constituted, he said while interacting with media persons.
All examinations would be conducted by HPPSC, he said and added that the employees of the Staff Selection Commission have been transferred to the “surplus” pool and options will be given to them to join new departments of their choice.
The inquiry report said the involvement of many officials from top to bottom was found in the paper leak scams and other irregularities committed during the past three years and the first charge sheet in this case would be filed on Tuesday, according to Sukhu.
Directions have been given to the vigilance department to take strict action against the people involved in illegal activities, he said.
The forensic experts examining the electronic devices recovered by the vigilance department in the case had found question papers, financial transactions, voice audio recordings and chats.
These were found during the scrutiny of electronic data from the devices including mobile phones, laptops, hard drives and electronic documents recovered from personal gadgets of the people and indicate that papers were leaked in the past also.
The examination of JOA (IT) scheduled for December 25 was cancelled after the paper leak was unearthed on December 23, 2022 when the vigilance arrested a senior assistant of HPSSC Uma Azad with a solved question paper and ₹2.5 lakh in cash.
So far, eight people – Uma Azad, her sons Nikhil Azad and Nitin Azad, tout Sanjeev and his brother Shashi Pal, Neeraj, Ajay Sharma, and Tanu Sharma have been arrested in the case.