With KPSC’s ‘grace’, they made it to plum posts

RTI activists have brought to light violation of norms and nepotism galore in the recruitment of gazetted probationers by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) since 1999.

 Even as the issue is before the High Court and the CID for further investigation, more skeletons have tumbled out of the KPSC cupboard in connection with recruitments in 1998, 1999 and 2004. The RTI documents reveal how the KPSC has been ‘graceful’ to some candidates.  

Documents available with the Deccan Herald show how some candidates had a cakewalk to the plum posts, while many meritorious candidates are still running from pillar to post in the hope of getting justice.

Three candidates, who had taken Law as optional subject in preliminary examination in 1999 (two candidates with register numbers 504314 and 504171), were given grace marks of 3.33 per question by the KPSC. In all, they got 75 marks and are now appointed as commercial tax officers and, one is a tahsildar. However, according to the KPSC recruitment guidelines formulated by the government, KPSC cannot allocate more than 2.5 marks as grace marks to a question in any subject during evaluation. The KPSC’s allocation of 3.33 marks itself is therefore illegal.

But, KPSC on June 9, 2000 passed a resolution in a meeting chaired by the then chairman S M Panchagatti in which members H C Neeravari, Dr H N Krishna, K Mukudappa, R Nagaraj, Mohammed Ali Khan, Lilian Xavier and secretary K Janardhan Rao were present. 

This resolution stated that grace marks could be awarded since some of these questions were out of syllabus and hence they could allocate 3.33 marks per question. 

However, the KPSC, in its reply to an RTI query by Ambasa Meharwadi on September 25, 2007, stated that it had no discretionary powers to change the rules and regulations made by the government in connection with recruitment. Hence, such allocation of marks was illegal.

In another instance, the KPSC was found to have favoured one candidate (register no 511351) by awarding him grace marks in preliminary examination and later allowed him to write the main examinations in 1999. Nine people approached the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) after they failed in the preliminary exams. 

The KAT allowed them to appear for the mains examination, subject to the result of the writ petition. Following this order, the KPSC chose to send the paper of just one candidate (register no 511351) to subject experts for revaluation and awarded him 12 grace marks in the preliminary exams. Once he wrote the main exams, that paper was retotalled and he was awarded 30 marks and later got another 152 marks in the interview.

But for another candidate M J Shivanna (register no 500200), who has sought a similar relief to appear for mains examination, the matter is still pending before the KAT. When another candidate sought more details about the grace marks awarded to him/her (register no 511351) through RTI, the KPSC stated that the file pertaining to the matter had been destroyed.



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