Defence academy chief shifted over recruitment scam (Lead)July 4th, 2012 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) The commandant of Pune’s National Defence Academy (NDA), which has been caught in a scandal involving the recruitment of civilians, was Wednesday shunted out by the defence ministry to ensure “a free and fair” probe into the case, an official statement said.
“Defence Minister A.K. Antony has ordered the immediate shifting of Lt. Gen. Jatinder Singh, Commandant, National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune. This is with the view to ensure a free and fair investigation in the alleged bribery racket in the recruitment of Group ‘C’ posts in the NDA, Khadakwasla, Pune,” the defence ministry statement said.
The ministry had initially spelt the NDA commandant’s name as Lt. Gen. Jitendra Singh, but subsequently corrected it to Lt. Gen. Jatinder Singh.
The recruitment process had begun in February when applications were invited for the 40 civilian vacancies in the NDA.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, has so far arrested eight people, including two serving colonels, in connection with the scam, apart from recovering Rs.1.76 crore cash, a list of candidates for the Group ‘C’ recruitment and their interview letters, and also a list of those who paid bribes to get recruited.
The CBI had carried out searches at 14 places in Pune, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Sonepat in Haryana.
Col. Kulbir Singh, staff officer to the NDA commandant; Col. A.K Singh, physical training officer and presiding officer of the recruitment board; Suhas Shankar Waghmare, establishment officer at NDA, Ramesh Gaikwad, an NDA employee; Bal Kishen Kanojia, who runs a food stall in Pune; his employee Vishnu Sharma and two alleged touts - Manoj Sheetak Kar and Dattatre Sheetal Kar - have been arrested in the case.
While Col. Kulbir Singh, Kanojia, Sharma and Gaikwad are in CBI custody till Thursday, a CBI special court in Pune had recently granted bail to Manoj Kar and Dattatre Kar in the case.
According to the CBI, the suspects in the case had allegedly accepted illegal gratification of about Rs.4 lakh from each of the candidates appearing for the interviews held recently for Group ‘C’ posts like cooks, gardeners, attendants, library assistants and cadet orderlies.
The accuesed are charged with taking signatures of candidates on blank answer sheets during the recruitment tests and later filling them with correct answers.
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