Mumbai: The vigilance department of the Department of Posts has unearthed a mega scam in recruitment for over 2,400 vacancies, in Maharashtra. The Mumbai police registered an FIR in August against Manipal Technologies Ltd (MTL), which had won a bid in 2015 to conduct the recruitment process for postmen, mail guards and other staffers in the postal department.
The FIR was filed on the basis of a complaint by an assistant post master general in Mumbai and names P V Mallya and other directors of MTL. Dubbing it a big scam, Justice A M Badar of the Bombay high court refused to grant pre-arrest bail to Mallya on November 3.
He said, “The case in hand appears to be a case of a big scam in recruitment in the department of posts… Selection to public employment has to be a fair and impartial process, based on merit of eligible candidates… This job was entrusted by DoP with utmost trust on the company… Prima facie, it is seen that, the company has breached the trust reposed by it and had shown nepotism and partiality in selecting candidates for obvious reasons.”
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) said that the selection process had been cancelled in Maharashtra. No one has been arrested so far. Police are interrogating the project managers from the company which was in charge of the recruitment process.
The exam was conducted in March 2015 and the results were declared in March 2016. It was held to fill in 1,680 posts of postmen, 21 mail guards and 733 multitask servants (MTS).
The chief postmaster general had ordered a vigilance enquiry when an Amravati postmaster first complained last April that a postman selected through the recruitment process had a photograph of a different candidate on his online application form.
The vigilance report said that 25 of the 194 postmen posted in Maharashtra scored high in Marathi, but didn’t know the language and over 70 candidates were found with identical email addresses.
Few of the selected candidates had not appeared for the exam, others had not signed the paper or their signatures online and on the answer paper differed; addresses of some candidates were identical, and cell phone numbers were the same for some, said the vigilance report.
Of the 24 selected as postmen,12 had identical cell phone numbers; of 21 selected as MTS, 11 did. Candidates selected from states other than Maharashtra, such as Haryana, Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, had addresses from a same locality, said the FIR.