IMPHAL: The recruitment process for the post of assistant election supervisors (12 in numbers) has been cancelled following an order issued by the state government considering reported anomalies in the recruitment procedures. The cancellation order was issued by Commissioner (Election) Vivek Dewangan on June 12 after it was found that the recruitment process for the post of 12 AESs was carried out in defiance of the existing re-cruitment guidelines.
Following complaints from various quarters that the re-cruitment in various deparments during the previous Congress government just before enforcement of election code of conduct of 11th State Assembly elections, were carried out by tempering the date of recruitment process, the BJP led coalition government had on June 8 instituted five special investigation teams and started inquiring into the recruitment procedures done in 15 different departments.
According to a source, additional director (employment) issued requisition letter for recruitment of 12 AESs on February 26, 2014, followed by the employment exchange sponsoring 1998 candidates out of which 1007 applied. Of the total applicants, only 920 fulfilled the criteria following which written test was conducted on July 20, 2014 with 744 candidates appearing in it.
The result of the written test was declared on September 26, 2015 after a gap of over one year raising questions about lack of transparency and possibilities of manipulations. According to the result, a total of 414 candidates declared to have passed the exam which was considerably higher than the sanctioned number of posts. According to recruitment guidelines, the number of shortlisted candidates for a particular post should not exceed 5 times the sanctioned post, the source added.
The source went on to inform that the typing test for the selected candidates was conducted on October 5 and 6, 2015. Out of 327 candidates who appeared in the test, a total of 325 were declared qualified on October 13 and their personal interview conducted on October 19, 20, 21 and 23.
In addition to not declaring the result of the personal interview in the same month, the interview was not conducted by reducing the number of illegible candidates to 5 times the sanctioned post. However, following allegations from various quarters that the recruitment process lacked transparency and was carried out through manipulations, a meeting of the selection committee was purportedly held on August 1, 2016 and names of 67 candidates were recommended for the 12 posts, the source said.
The source further informed that the call for fresh applications for an additional 55 posts of AES for which 67 candidates were recommended by the authority concerned was also against all existing norms. Moreover, there were no over-qualified OBC and ST candidates selected in the unreserved list.
A complaint was lodged in the Election Commission of India on August 18, 2016 in this regard following which the ECI instructed the state government to withhold the results of the final selection list until the state assembly elections was over. A writ petition was also filed at the High Court by 16 candidates before the election process was completed and the High Court instructed the Manipur government to declare the final list of selected candidates within one month of completion of elections. However, the state government took another two months for the completion of the whole process, the source maintained.
It also informed that since the newly formed BJP led coalition government has passed an order prohibiting conduct of interview for direct recruitment of grade III and IV posts, the recruitment process for the post of 12 AESs conducted earlier automatically became null and void.
Source: The People’s Chronicle