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JBT scam Court recommends CBI probe against then DCs, SDMs.
For many administrative officers, who were posted at various district headquarters during the Om Prakash Chautala-led government between 1999-2005, these are the troubled times.
With a special CBI court recommending action against them for their role in the JBT scam, in which Chautala, his son Ajay and two IAS officers have been sentenced to 10 years in jail, the officers are keeping fingers crossed.
The court has recommended that the CBI should hold further investigation into the role of the then deputy commissioners (DCs) and sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) and act against those who forced district level selection committee members to sign duplicate lists or affidavits under duress. Changes were made in the lists of 18 districts ó Ambala, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Fatehabad, Gurgaon, Jind, Jhajjar, Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Mohindergarh, Panipat, Panchkula, Rewari, Sirsa, Soenpat, Yamunanagar and Rohtak.
The court, while awarding the quantum of sentence, observed that "DCs and the SDMs had actively compelled the chairpersons and the members of the district level selection committees to sign affidavits on a pre-prepared proforma".
"This is a serious matter because these affidavits were being taken for the purpose of filing a reply by the government in the Supreme Court of India," Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar said.
"I recommend CBI to hold an inquiry and identify those officers who had indulged in such activities and if sufficient material is found, departmental action should be recommended," he added.
Senior officers preferred not to be quoted on the issue.
"The recommendation in the judgment has been made to the CBI and not to the government directly. Hence, we will wait if the agency acts on it and and sends us its findings," said a senior officer.
However, most of the officers said that it may take a long time to initiate any action against the erring officers the lists were tampered with in 18 districts and hence the area of investigation would be enormous. "Moreover, it has been a long time and many such officers have been promoted and and now posted at senior and influential positions," another officer said, while adding that the CBI probe will be like opening the proverbial "Pandora's box."