The office of the Deputy Directorate of Education in Palakkad is found to have caught up in a mess after the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) filed a complaint against the office on charges of corruption in the advice letter sent to the PSC candidate.
It is suspected that the DDE office in Palakkad changed the number of posts for Junior Language Teacher (Arabic) from one to four, for which the advice memo was sent in May 2011. The Public Service Commission noticed the discrepancy when the appointed candidate’s documents were sent from the DDE office for verification at the PSC office.
Reportedly, the office of Deputy Directorate of Education has also delayed the process of transferring the documents of the appointed candidate for verification at the PSC office. Noticing a spate of malpractices, the PSC had strengthened the service verification in 2011. According to this, soon after the office concerned receives the advice letter from the PSC for the appointment of the candidate, the Government office is obliged to send back the documents of the candidate for verification.
In this case, DDE, Palakkad, delayed the process for three years. It was only in 2014, the PSC received the documents of the candidate for verification.
As per the procedure, the PSC sends the advice letter to the office concerned once the appointment has to be made. On the left hand of the advice letter, the number of candidates to be posted is included.
In the advice letter issued in May 2011, the number of posts for Junior Language Teacher (Arabic) was one. The number was given in figure and letters in brackets. To confirm, it was also pointed that the number of candidates was below two in the same letter. Once the office concerned receives the letter, it is obliged to send the documents of the candidate which include the appointment order, copy of the advice letter and the pages concerned of the service book freshly opened for the candidate.
“When we received the documents for verification it was found that instead of one, the number was changed to four. But we received only one candidate’s documents. Soon after we noticed the discrepancy, we reported it to the PSC secretary and as per this, the internal vigilance team of PSC comprising an SP and a police team investigated the case. According to the vigilance’s report, the PSC chairman directed us to file a police complaint. We have filed a formal complaint at Town Police Station South last month and the police are investigating the case now. It has to be probed if four people have been appointed instead of one with the advice letter sent for one candidate’s appointment,” said Palakkad district PSC officer.
Meanwhile, the officials at DDE said that when PSC sent the advice letter in May 2011, nobody joined for the post. The vacancy remained ‘not joining duty’ until another candidate was posted.
“The PSC has found that there is a discrepancy in the number of candidates in this advice letter which we sent back for verification. We don’t know what exactly happened. The PSC as well as the police are investigating the issue,” said Vinod Kumar, an official at DDE, Palakkad.
The PSC is also curious about what caused the DDE office to delay the verification process. “Usually when we send advice letter to any other Government office, they send back the documents for verification in two-three weeks. The DDE office took three years for sending the documents for verification. An advice letter for the appointment of four candidates in the same post was sent to the DDE in February 2011. They did not inform us whether those four people were appointed or not. Without attaching the verification certificate we issue in the service book, the appointed candidate’s probation will not be declared. Without declaring probation, the candidate won’t be eligible to avail second increment,” the PSC district officer said.
According to the DDE office, the four candidates have been appointed based on the advice letter sent in February 2011.
Meanwhile, the PSC vigilance also seems to have delayed action for almost three years after it was notified of the malpractice by the PSC district office in 2014. A letter from the PSC chairman directing the PSC district office to file a complaint was received only in September, 2017. When enquired about this, the PSC district officer said that it might be because the vigilance team of PSC was responsible to investigate every such malpractice being reported in 14 districts. “This may have been the reason for the delay,” he said.
PSC chairman M. K. Sakeer, PSC vigilance officer as well as the Town South Police declined to respond to questions.
Cover image from here.