Published: 06th February 2023
Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission employees involved in exam paper leak
The paper leak was unearthed on December 23, 2022, when the vigilance arrested a senior assistant of HPSSC Uma Azad with a solved question paper and Rs 2.5 lakh in cash
Forensic analysis of electronic devices seized by the vigilance department during its probe into the leaked exam paper has revealed past involvement of Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission (HPSSC) employees in recruitment scams, according to an official on Monday. The department is currently investigating the December leak of a Junior Office Assistant (Information Technology) exam paper, as reported by PTI.
The vigilance department has recovered question papers, financial transactions, voice recordings and chats from mobile phones, laptops, hard drives, and other electronic documents found on people under its scanner, which indicates that papers were leaked in the past also, an official told PTI requesting anonymity.
Additionally, the regional forensic laboratory, Dharamshala the only forensic lab in the state recognised by the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology has screened 75 per cent of the devices and submitted the report to the investigation agencies probing the case. To recall, the paper leak was unearthed on December 23, 2022, when the vigilance arrested a senior assistant of HPSSC Uma Azad with a solved question paper and Rs 2.5 lakh in cash. As of now, eight people namely: Uma Azad, her sons (Nikhil Azad and Nitin Azad), tout Sanjeev and his brother Shashi Pal, and Neeraj, Ajay Sharma, and Tanu Sharma have been arrested in the case.
Further, the state government had suspended the functioning of the HPSSC over the recruitment exam paper leak and postponed all exams scheduled to be held in near future, stating it appears that the commission has not discharged its duties and responsibilities objectively and its credibility has been eroded.
After the scam was unearthed, the Vigilance department received several complaints of irregularities in previous exams conducted by the HPSSC. Also, the Vigilance department officers have said that enquiries have been initiated to further verify alleged malpractices in 10-20 exams held in the past, as stated in a report by PTI.