Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday admitted that there was lapses in constable recruitment process due to leakage of questions for written test and said strict action will be taken against those responsible for the incident.
"Strict action will be taken against all those found responsible for this serious lapse," Patnaik told the Assembly while making a statement after opposition stalled the House during the first half of the day.
Stating that Crime Branch of Police has been asked to enquire into the matter, the chief minister said the State Selection Board is taking steps to conduct the written examination afresh shortly.
"On March 15, 2015 morning, a news item appeared regarding alleged leakage of some questions of the written examination. The news item was verified by the State Selection Board and it was found that the four questions of the written examination had appeared in the news item," Patnaik said adding that in order to ensure integrity, fairness and transparency in the recruitment proces, the Board decided to cancel the written examination.
The examination was cancelled prior to the commencement of the written examination in all the recruiting districts and police commissionarte, he informed the Assembly.
Patnaik said the recruitment of civil constables in Odisha Police is being conducted by the State Selection Board headed by an additional DGP and has been mandated to notify, control, supervise and direct the method and process of recruitment.
The constable recruitment process started on January 15 in 30 police districts and the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commssionrate. The candidates who qualified in the physical test, were scheduled to appear the written examination yesterday.
However, leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress rejected the chief minister's statement on the lapse and said: "I am disappointed. Patnaik has not replied any of the questions raised by us."
BJP Legislature Party leader Basant Kumar Panda, on the other hand demanded resignation of the chief minister as he too heads home department which is accountable for the lapse.
Earlier, the day, Odisha Assembly was stalled today amid pandemonium and adjournments with opposition Congress demanding a statement from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on cancellation of the written test for constable recruitment following reports about question paper leak.
Congress members rushed to well seeking a statement from the chief minister.
"Though Patnaik was present when opposition demanded a statement, the chief minister chose to run away from the House instead of trying to resolve the issue," Mishra said when the House reassembled at 12.30 pm.
Rejecting the state government's announcement of a crime branch probe into the question paper leak, Mishra asked, "how can a police probe into misdeeds of other police officers."
Congress demanded an impartial investigation into the matter as it is linked with the vexed unemployment issue.
Mishra alleged that some high ranking police officers were part of the racket that sold question papers in the market at a cost Rs 1.60 lakh per set of question with answer sheet.
Speaker Niranjan Pujari, in his ruling had asked the state government to place a statement before the House by afternoon.
"Two teams have been formed to probe in Kendrapara and Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police commissionrate area. However, there is no breakthrough in the investigation," said crime branch additional DG B K Sharma outside the Assembly.