Bengaluru: In view of the rising cases of malpractice in recruitment examinations, Karnataka government is set to table the Karnataka Public Examination (Measures for Prevention of Corruption and Unfair Practices in Recruitment) Bill 2023 in the upcoming Assembly session in Belagavi. An approval in this regard has already been given by the state cabinet.
Recently, cases of irregularities have been surfaced in public exams namely for the post of Police Sub-Inspector (PSI), assistant professors, First Division Assistants (FDA), exams conducted by Karnataka Exams Authority (KEA) and for jobs in many other departments.
No matter what measures are taken to curb irregularities in public examinations, scams continue to surface. The recruitment scams have put the Congress government in a quandary as the party had earlier attacked the erstwhile BJP government on this issue.
Thus, the Department of Home Administration has formulated the Karnataka Public Examination Bill, 2023 that proposes severe punishment to the offenders including imprisonment, fines along with attachment and confiscation of properties.
If an examinee is found to be involved in malpractices, he/she can be sentenced to a maximum of five years along with a fine of Rs 10 lakh. Failure to pay the fine will result in nine months of imprisonment.
According to the law, if a third party conspires, or participates in the malpractices he/she shall be imprisoned for a minimum term of eight years and a maximum of 12 years. In addition, he/she will be slapped a fine of a minimum of Rs 15 lakh that may go upto Rs 10 crore. If one fails to pay the fine, he/she will be imprisoned for up to two years.
The Bill also proposes to confiscate the convict's immovable or movable properties acquired illegally. The property of the offender can be confiscated with the prior approval of the state government. If it is found difficult to confiscate the property, then the investigating officer is empowered to issue an order to restrict transferring the property.
The investigating officer shall inform the court within 48 hours of confiscation of property. The court will have the power to vacate or confirm the confiscation of property. If the accused is found guilty, the court can award the sentence and place the immovable and movable property under the control of the state government.
Offences under this law are non-bailable as the issue will be treated as a serious case and there is no possibility of compromise or withdrawal of complaint. An officer not below the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police shall investigate the case that will be heard in a separate court.
According to this Bill, if an examinee is found guilty of irregularities in the recruitment examination, he will be debarred from any recruitment examination for the next two years. Person, who is not related to the exam will be barred from entering the exam centre and the examination cannot be conducted anywhere other than the designated examination centers.
Also, if any administrative body or organisation is found involved in any malpractices, the director, secretary, partner, manager of such organisations will be severely punished. The bill includes a provision to recover the total cost of the examination from these bodies and impose a lifetime ban on them.