Rakesh Kumar Paul, Assam Public Service Commission Chairman, arrested over corruption charges

Assam, November 4: Rakesh Kumar Paul, Assam Public Service Commission Chairman, arrested on corruption charges. The Assam police had found that Rakesh Kumar Paul was involved in certain corruptions during his tenure as the Public Service Commission Chairman.

Earlier in October, the Gauhati High Court had ordered a CBI probe into allegations of corruption against Rakesh Kumar Paul.

A division bench of Chief Justice (acting) K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice P.K. Saikia directed the CBI to conduct a “preliminary inquiry” into allegations of corruption and accusations of amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income against Paul, his wife Sunanda, brother Rajeev and driver Sanjay Saha.

Police official said that, a team of Dibrugarh district police arrested APSC Chairman Rakesh Paul from Guwahati on Friday. The Police interrogated Paul at Assam Police Special Branch headquarters.

Preliminary investigation conducted by Justice P.K. Saikia had revealed that Paul, his wife, brother and Saha allegedly acquired several properties since 2009, when he was an APSC member.

A case was registered at Dibrugarh Sadar police station which followed an arrest of an engineer from Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district. The police caught him red handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 10 lakh on October 27.

There were allegations of corruption against Paul in selection of candidates by the APSC for various government posts in Assam.The arrested engineer was identified as Naba Kumar Patir.

He was an assistant engineer of Town and Country Planning department of Assam government, posted at Dibrugarh town.

The top police official said that, the engineer was taking a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from a dentist for getting appointed at the Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH).

Senior advocates and amicus curiae (lawyers who assist the court) P.K. Tiwari and Bhaskar Dev Konwar contended that only a preliminary inquiry by the CBI would restore the confidence upon a constitutional post like that of the APSC chairman.

They further submitted that no prejudice should be caused to the accused, as he would have full opportunity to rebut the allegations of corruption without facing any threat of arrest.

Police also arrested a PSO of a member of APSC last week.

Meanwhile, Asomiya Yuba Mancha demanded the state government and Assam police to arrest all kingpins of APSC who were involved in irregularities in various appointments under the commission.

The high court passed the order in connection with public interest litigation (PIL) and writ petitions filed by KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi and others, alleging irregularities in civil service examinations conducted by the APSC.

Although the court allowed the CBI to interrogate Rakesh Kumar Paul, it restrained the central investigating agency from arresting him during the preliminary inquiry.