Telangana HC asks why Congress and BJP leaders were summoned in TSPSC paper leak case

While Telangana Congress chief Revanth Reddy appeared before the SIT on 23 March, state BJP president Bandi Sanjay skipped summons twice.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Apr 24, 2023 | 9:08 PMUpdatedApr 24, 2023 | 9:10 PM

Why Congress and BJP leaders were summoned, asks Telangana HC in TSPSC paper leak case

The Telangana High Court on Monday, 24 April, sought to know the reasons behind the summoning of BJP and Congress leaders in connection with the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) question paper leak case.

This came as the court was hearing a petition filed by NSUI state president Balmoori Venkat demanding that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from the Hyderabad police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT).

“The BJP and Congress leaders were not questioned by the SIT but were asked to furnish the documents regarding the allegations that they raised,” SIT chief and Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes and SIT) AR Srinivas told South First.

While Telangana Congress chief Revanth Reddy appeared before the SIT on 23 March, BJP President Bandi Sanjay skipped the SIT summons twice.

Meanwhile, the cops arrested a father-son duo on 22 April, taking the total number of arrests to 19 so far.

“All the students who scored over 100 marks were questioned. There is a probability of more arrests since the investigation is still going on. The report of the investigation is not yet submitted as it is too early for that,” Srinivas said.

Related: ED questions key accused Praveen, Rajashekhar

What happened in the court?

The high court asked whether investigators got any valuable information from the leaders.

In reply, Telangana Advocate General (AG) BS Prasad, who argued the case on behalf of the state government, said the leaders were summoned only after they said they had evidence.

When the AG further said that the state government was taking necessary steps to prevent such incidents, the court remarked, “The pain will be known if our children appear for such exams.”

About the 12 computers that the SIT has seized during the investigation so far, the court noted that the technical and hacking aspects would be crucial in the case.

It asked whether the SIT had IT experts to assist investigators and will the SIT rely on the outsourcing staff for technical assistance.

Seeking to know whether the SIT questioned the relatives of the staff working in the TSPSC, the court asked why the commission was silent on it and directed that they be questioned as well.

“Is the TSPSC conducting an internal probe into the case?” the court asked.

The court asked who was heading the SIT and who are the members of it. “Will there be any objection if we seek the opinion of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda Police Commissioners to know the capacity of SIT to probe the case?” the court asked the government.

Stating that it would give interim orders on 28 April, the court said it would contemplate whether to change the probe agency or to make any changes in it.

Related: SIT questions TSPSC secretary, member; 100 students quizzed so far

Two more arrested

The SIT arrested Mibayya and his son Janardhan, natives of Mahabubnagar. This take the total arrests to 19.

As per the SIT, Mibayya had allegedly paid ₹2 lakh to Lavdyavath Dhakya, one of the accused already arrested in the case, for a question paper of the exam conducted by TSPSC for recruitment of assistant engineers.

His son Janardhan had appeared in the exam.

Dhakya is the husband of Renuka, a teacher who had obtained question papers from prime accused Praveen Kumar, an employee in the TSPSC.

Related: Congress seeks ED probe into the role of KTR

Govt creates new TSPSC posts

The Telangana government has created 10 posts including a Controller of Examinations (CoE) to ensure transparency and accountability in the recruitment process of TSPSC.

Orders have been issued here appointing BM Santhosh, Managing Director, HGCL and ORR Project Director, as TSPSC’s Additional Secretary and the CoE.

Apart from the CoE, the posts of Deputy CoE, Assistant CoE, Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, Senior Network Administrator, Junior Network Administrator, Senior Programmer, Junior Programmer and Law Officer of the Junior Civil Judge cadre, have been created in the Commission.

These posts were created based on the proposal from the TSPSC to strengthen its office for holding the recruitment process in a transparent, accountable and responsive manner.

Related: KTR to sue Bandi Sanjay, Revanth Reddy for ₹100 crore