Home Secy-led panel to shortly submit report on ‘appointments scam’ in KVIB

Prima-facie establishes go-by to transparent procedure

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 22: Home Secretary-led committee will shortly submit report on ‘appointments scam’ in Jammu and Kashmir Khadi Village and Industries Board (KVIB) to the Governor as it has prima-facie established that transparent procedure was not fully adopted in the entire exercise.
Moreover, initiating fresh exercise for filling the vacant posts after ignoring the entire process initiated in 2013 has raised many questions vis-à-vis fair selections.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that a committee headed by Principal Secretary to Government Home Department, which was constituted on March 19, 2018 to enquire into the selections made by the Khadi Village and Industries Board against various posts, has almost completed the task.
The committee has minutely examined the process followed by a private agency hired by the Board for making selections and has noticed procedural inadequacies with some oblique motives, sources said, adding it has also found that the process followed by the hired agency was not in consonance with the procedure being adopted by the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board for selection against similar posts.
It has also come to the fore that posts of Law Officer, Publicity Officer, Field Publicity Officer and of other ranks were also advertized by the KVIB vide Advertisement Notice No. KVIB/02 of 2013 dated April 26, 2013 and written test for these posts was conducted in the month of March 2015.
However, instead of culminating this selection process by short-listing the candidates who participated in the written test for the interviews, the Board preferred to initiate fresh selection process for the same posts, sources said.
Accordingly, the posts were advertised fresh vide notification dated October 8, 2016 and the process was completed with the issuance of selection list early this year wherein the names of some close relatives of the leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which was in the Government at that time, also figured.
“The Board has failed to give plausible reasons for not concluding the earlier selection process and initiating the fresh one which finally led to selection of relatives of the politicians”, sources said, adding “this act on the part of the Board on the directions of the then Vice-Chairman has raised many questions”.
They disclosed that Home Secretary-led committee has sought some documents from the Board and following detailed analysis of the same the report will be finalized and submitted to the Governor N N Vohra, who is holding the reign of the State at present.
“Had there been no wrong intentions the Board should have taken the earlier selection process to the logical conclusion instead of initiating the fresh ones”, sources said, adding “if there were some flaws in the earlier selection process the same should have been made public”.
The committee, in its report, will touch all the relevant aspects relating to procedure followed in the selections, methodology adopted in selecting the agency for setting up of question and conduct of evaluation process etc.
The high-level inquiry was ordered by the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on February 25, 2018 after much criticism from the Opposition parties over ‘unfair’ selections.
However, formal order in this regard was issued on March 19, 2018 when General Administration Department constituted a committee headed by R K Goyal, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department and comprising of Dr Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary to the Government, Health and Medical Education Department and Farooq Ahmad Shah, Secretary to the Government, School Education Department.
It is pertinent to mention here that committee has already missed the deadlines fixed by the Government for completion of inquiry and submission of report.