K’taka PSI recruitment scam: ADGP’s mobile phone likely to reveal names

With the CID trying to retrieve the erased data of a mobile phone belonging to arrested Additional DGP Amrit Paul, the Congress has started a campaign in the state that the ruling BJP ministers are involved in the Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) recruitment scam.

So far the investigation into the PSI recruitment scandal has revealed that arrested senior IPS officer Amrit Paul allegedly pocketed Rs 1.35 crore bribe amount. Sources said on Thursday that the former Additional DGP got this amount deposited in various accounts.

Sources also said that one of the arrested accused in the case DySP Shanthakumar had revealed about pocketing huge amounts of money by the arrested former ADGP. The officers are now planning to seize the money. However, the officers said that the data of the mobile phone used by Amrit Paul was erased.

The officers are now taking the help of experts in retrieving the data. If the sleuths get hold of the data, it may reveal some shocking details putting some leaders of the BJP and Congress in trouble, said the sources.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), who are investigating the scandal, have got the custody of the former ADGP of Recruitment in Karnataka Police Department till July 16.

Congress MLA Priyank Kharge has been demanding that the accused Amrit Paul’s statement be recorded before the court under Section 164 of CRPC as there is involvement of powerful ministers of the ruling BJP government.

Kharge had said, “Former ADGP Amrit Paul was your colleague. You (BJP) are also the partner in the crime. Why are you fearing him? Amrit Paul is demanding that he will record his statement before the court. If BJP is not part of the scandal, why is he not allowed to record his statement before the court?

The Congress is also making a demand for a judicial probe into the scandal. The CID has submitted a charge sheet in connection with the scandal to the court and the investigating agency is likely to submit an additional charge sheet soon.

Never in the history of the state police department has an on duty IPS officer of the rank of ADGP arrested. The Congress has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra following the arrest of ADGP Amrit Paul.

The CID officers are now focusing on the kingpins behind the scandal. CID has recently arrested Ganapathy Bhat, who is said to be close to Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. However, the Home Minister has ruled out any links with him.

The Karnataka government had announced re-exams for 545 PSI posts after the scandal came to light. The exams were held for these posts on October 3, 2021. As many as 54,041 candidates appeared for exams. The results were announced this January.

Later, the allegations surfaced that candidates who gave very poor performance in descriptive writing got maximum marks in Paper 2. However, the police department and the Home Minister denied any irregularities in the PSI exams.

One of the candidates filed an RTI application seeking information on the OMR sheets of one of the candidates. Though the application was rejected, the OMR sheet of the candidate appeared in public domain. Police sources say that Veeresh, the candidate, had attended only 21 questions in paper 2 but got 100 marks. He was given 7th rank.

It is alleged that more than 300 of the 545 candidates had paid Rs 70 to 80 lakh bribe to officials and ministers to become PSI.

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