CHENNAI: The directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption DV&AC sleuths on Friday conducted surprise raids at the houses of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission chairman-cum-former IAS officer Chellamuthu and also at the houses of the 13 TNPSC members in the city.
DV&AC sleuths have registered a case against the chairman and members of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission under Sections 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) & 15 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and sections 120(B), 175 and 186 IPC.
Police sources said, TNPSC officials have allegedly selected list of candidates before official release in the matter of recruitment of assistant dental surgeons, the accused officers attempted to commit criminal misconduct by obtaining pecuniary advantage.
Preliminary inquiries revealed that the TNPSC officials allegedly failed to allow the authorized authorities to look into the specific allegation of corruption into the matter of recruitment of specific ineligible candidates of motor vehicle inspectors grade-II (vacancies for the years 2006-2008).
The TNPSC officials also prevented the secretary of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, an IAS officer discharging his official duties when he wanted to ensure that there is no scope for corruption in recruitment of Group-I.
After we registered a case, police teams led by a deputy superintendent of police, DV&AC approached the TNPSC officials and sought to provide some documents. But they failed to furnish them.
Searches are being conducted at the residences of the Chairman and Members of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission and office of TNPSC.
DV&AC senior officials refused to divulge further information about the raids.
Oct 16, 2011:
The vigilance raids conducted on the offices and residences of the chairman of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC), R Sellamuthu, and 13 members of the commission have yielded evidence to indicate that the recently held selection process for group I service (deputy collector, deputy superintendent of police etc.) officers was fixed. The directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) is now probing all TNPSC selections undertaken between 2006 and 2011.
A DVAC official said, “We seized several copies of unsigned selection list of group I service officers from the residences of many members. There is no reason why such confidential documents should be in their houses.
Moreover, they were not signed, which means the members used the selection list for bargaining and collecting money from the candidates. The final list was released much later. Against the roll numbers of the shortlisted candidates, the members had made some jottings using pencil and pen. There were also many diary jottings. We seized recommendation letters, photocopies of some answer sheets and hall tickets of candidates. We have gathered names of some touts engaged by the members. Investigation is on.”
The issue surfaced in June 2011, just before the group I results were released. As per a report submitted by TNPSC member-secretary T Udhayachandran to the government, the commission members asked him to provide them advance copies of the group I service selection list. When he refused, Sellamuthu sent circulars to the commission staff to bypass the secretary and deal with the members directly, the report said.
Since the employees are appointed by the commission and not by the government, the members could successfully sideline Udhayachandran. Suspecting something fishy, the secretary instructed his subordinates to produce original answer sheets of some ‘selected’ candidates for verification. They ignored him.
Meanwhile, the government received some petitions alleging that the motor vehicle inspectors’ selection held in 2010 was also fixed. Six of the selected candidates were ineligible for the post, the petitions said. The government forwarded it to the DVAC for probe.
The official said, “When we sought details from the TNPSC about the selection of motor vehicle inspectors, the chairman refused to cooperate saying the commission was outside the purview of the DVAC. He cited two government orders (GOs) passed in 1996 and 2001 to justify his stand.”
The state government got into action immediately and amended the earlier GOs and brought the TNPSC under DVAC’s purview. The TNPSC members had fixed selection of group II officers, assistant dental surgeons, assistant engineers and village administrative officers too. Touts collected money on behalf of the members for some promotions also, said the official.
In the raids conducted on Sellamuthu’s house, officials stumbled upon a copy of the GO allotting a housing board plot to his daughter under the government discretionary quota during his tenure as housing secretary.