A total of 51 officers, selected through allegedly forged and tampered results of the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) exam from the year 2003-2004, are all set to receive promotions even though the high court has yet to verify the exam results.
In the SPSC Combined Competitive Exam (CCE) held in December 2003 to January 2004, a total of 2,225 people qualified the written test. Out of these only 532 qualified both the written test and the interview, and only 77 were allocated various posts, such as revenue DDO, section officers, registrars, labour assistant director, excise and taxation officer and others.
Of these 77, only 26 were given posts based on their merit while the remaining 51 were allocated posts arbitrarily, according to one of the candidates who qualified both the test and the interview but was not allocated a post. Even though it has been five years since the exams, the ones who genuinely qualified the exam await justice as the Sindh High Court has yet to declare the allocations of the 51 posts illegal.
According to a petition these candidates filed in the high court in 2008, the SPSC itself conceded that the results of as many as 51 candidates were tampered with but these officials have yet to be discharged from duties. “We have informed the court and filed a report on the tampering,” admitted SPSC controller Jumma Khan Chandio, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Now it is up to the court to decide.” Chandio refused to elaborate on the issue.
Meanwhile, the candidates who cleared the two steps and were denied posts are upset as the SPSC has dragged the issue for five years. “Every time the SPSC resorts to hoodwinking and avoids providing the merit list of those who actually qualified the exams in 2003 so they could be declared successful,” said the petitioner, Muhammad Saleem Shaikh.
The SPSC either provides irrelevant data or recommends holding re-interviews of all the candidates - even the ones who failed, said Shaikh. According to him, this will be a grave injustice as the ones who actually passed in 2004 would be required to go through the viva voce again whereas, those who failed the viva voce earlier, would have another chance to compete.
The SPSC submitted its report in the high court on June 16 and declared that they reviewed the cases and found that 35 of the 51 candidates were qualified on the basis of tampered results. “The decision on the remaining 16 candidates - which are earlier called ‘fraud entries’ by some members of the inquiry committee - were tactfully withheld for obvious reasons,” claimed another petitioner Zameer Abbasi. The next hearing of the case is scheduled for August.
Apart from the commission, an inquiry was also held by the anti-corruption force but so far the fate of the qualified candidates hangs in the balance.
“They have failed to submit a fresh merit list in high court - after removing the 51 cheats - of those who actually qualified both the written and viva voce in 2004,” pointed out Abbasi.
With the matter in court since 2008, the high court has to give the final verdict on what will happen to the beneficiaries and the officers who were involved in tampering the results.
Some of the 51 candidates who may have benefited from the tampered results include the son of the then chairperson of SPSC Muhammad Hussain Bhutto, Ayan Mustafa Bhutto, who was allocated the post of revenue DDO. He is now expected to be promoted to grade-19. Sindh government bureaucrat Ghaffar Soomro’s son, Fahad Ghaffar Soomro, SNGD secretary Ghulam Sarwar Khohru’s brother, Ghulam Shabbir, were also reportedly among the 51 candidates.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.