Indian Army Recruitment Scam: CBI Registers Case against 17 Officials

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News Desk

There is a considerable full proof report of scam against the recruitment process of Indian Army. On February 28, the Army was to conduct a pan-India Common Entrance Exam (CEE) for recruitment of soldiers (General Duty).  This particular process was referred to as ‘relation recruitment’, meaning this drive was for those who have immediate relatives in the Army.

The written exam was to be conducted at 40 exam centers across India and around 30,000 aspirants were to appear for it. After receiving a tip off about a paper leak, sleuths from the Military Intelligence of the Army conducted a joint operation with Pune police and raided various places in and around Pune prior to the scheduled examination and seized question papers. The primary probe revealed that the suspected leaked paper was a 100 percent match to the original question paper, following which the Army cancelled the entire process.

In the ongoing investigation in the army recruitment scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 15 March said it has registered a case against 17 Army officials including Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Naib Subedar, Sepoy etc; 6 private persons and others on allegations pertaining to bribery and irregularities in recruitment of officers and other ranks through Service Selection Board (SSB).

The searches were also conducted by CBI at 30 places including Base Hospital, Cantonment, and other Army establishments, civilian areas in Kapurthala, Bathinda, Delhi, Kaithal, Palwal, Lucknow, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Vishakhapatnam, Jaipur, Guwahati, Jorhat and Chirangon. The searches at 30 places led to the recovery of several incriminating documents.

On March 14, in a similar way, after detecting malpractices in the officers’ selection at its center in Punjab during a military intelligence operation, the Indian Army has handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for probing the case in detail. The Service Selection Centers (SSCs) carries out the Services Selection Board (SSB) tests. The SSC under the scanner for malpractices is located in the Kapurthala district of Punjab.

On March 8, a 45-year-old army officer of a major rank was arrested by Pune city police in Tamil Nadu in connection with the Army recruitment exam paper leak. The police further informed that it was the ninth arrest in the case in which two different FIRs were registered with the police last month.

Earlier in February, in a joint operation with military intelligence of southern command of the Indian Army, Pune city police had arrested eight accused in this case including two serving defence personnel, a defence civilian and some who were running pre-military training institutes in different parts of the country.

One of the focuses of the investigation is also to dig out the role played by people linked to private coaching institutions who train aspirants for these recruitment processes. These coaching classes were used by racketeers to tap the aspirant who could be lured into paying large sums of money for getting recruited into the Armed forces. Days after the leak of the question paper came to light, the Indian Army said that the existing system of recruitment process will be made more foolproof and robust. On the other hand, the Army is planning to conduct an internal inquiry. The internal inquiry by the Army will try to ascertain possible procedural lapses that might have caused or aided the alleged paper leak.

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