JPSC aims to wrap up evaluation by October


The Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) has set a target of completing the ongoing evaluation process for the 6th JPSC Combined Civil Services mains examination by the end of October this year, officials from the commission said on Tuesday. However, the results will be declared only after Jharkhand High Court gives its go-ahead to the commission, they added.

“Since the number of aspirants is very high, we have set a target of completing the evaluation by the end of October. Once the evaluation is over, we will seek permission from the High Court for declaration of the results,” said Sudhir Tripathi, Chairperson of JPSC.

On the day the mains exam started, a court of Chief Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary ordered that the results of JPSC Mains should not be declared without the court’s permission.

The prelims test for JPSC 6 was conducted way back on December 18, 2016 and its result was declared in February 2017. Initially, the commission declared 5,400 candidates successful; however, months later it revised the results and declared 6100 candidates successful. The mains test, supposed to be conducted on January 29, 2018, had to be postponed by a year after some candidates approached the High Court with a plea citing incompliance of the reservation roaster in the prelims test.

Taking cognizance of the plea, the State Government constituted a committee headed by state revenue and land reforms minister Amar Bauri to look into the matter. In August last year the JPSC again issued fresh results declaring 34,634 candidates eligible for the Mains examination.

The number of candidates who cleared the Prelims was about 106 times the available 326 vacancies and that became the bone of contention. Aspirants alleged that as per rules, the number of successful candidates in Prelims should not exceed 15 times the total number of available vacancies.

Around 17,000 aspirants appeared for the JPSC mains exam. The evaluation of papers is being conducted under strict security and many JPSC officials too are not allowed to enter the evaluation cell of JPSC, an official said. He added that the JPSC had written to at least 62 universities seeking evaluators for the process. The evaluation process began in the month of June.

The Mains paper consisted of 1050 marks with 100 marks compulsory (Hindi/English), 150 marks papers on regional languages, and four papers each consisting of 200 marks.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered reevaluation of papers for JPSC 1 and JPSC 2. The apex court gave a time of four months to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for completing their probe into the matter.

Enough evidence to show your ”Dadagiri”, SC tells ex-Jharkhand minister Sao


New Delhi, Jul 26 The oral testimony of witnesses is enough “to show your Dadagiri (bullying tactics)”, the Supreme Court Friday told former Jharkhand minister Yogendra Sao, who has challenged his conviction and sentence in a 2011 extortion case.

The top court said this while agreeing to hear Sao”s plea challenging the April 26 order of Jharkhand High Court which dismissed his appeal against the conviction and two-and-a-half year sentence in the case.

A bench of Justices A M Sapre and Indu Malhotra issued notice and sought response from the Jharkhand government on the plea.

Senior advocate Rakesh Khanna, appearing for Sao, said the magisterial court did not have privilege to see entire call detail records (CDR) which included the period of alleged crime.

“Allegation is that I made a phone call and asked for money but the complete CDR was not filed. The CDR, which was filed before the trial court was till the month of March while the alleged occurrence of crime had taken place on April 24, 2011 and August 25, 2011,” he said.

Khanna said the trial court relied upon the testimony of prosecution witnesses and the informant who was an interested party.

“The oral testimony is enough to show your Dadagiri (bullying tactic). We cannot re-appreciate the whole evidence. There are concurrent findings against you by two courts,” the bench observed.

The top court, however, said that it will examine the matter and sought response from the state government in two weeks.

On April 26, the Jharkhand High Court had refused to interfere with trial court”s January 28, 2015 order convicting and sentencing Sao for two-and-a-half year rigorous imprisonment.

Sao was booked by the police on the charges of extortion on a complaint from a manager of Ramgarh Sponge Iron Private Limited and a case was registered against him on August 25, 2011.

The manager of the company has alleged that Sao threatened him on phone and demanded Rs 5 lakh.

Sao was then an MLA of Congress party and a member of the Committee of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly on Pollution Control.

Sao is lodged in jail after the apex court on April 12 ordered him to surrender before a court in Ranchi in cases related to rioting and inciting of violence.

The apex court had on April 4, trashed Sao”s plea seeking to campaign for the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls and cancelled his bail, saying he has violated the bail conditions.

Sao became a minister in the Hemant Soren-led UPA government in Jharkhand in 2013. He is named as an accused in over a dozen cases of rioting and instigation of violence.

The top court had then refused to cancel the bail of Sao”s wife Nirmala Devi. It had transferred the trial of 18 cases against Sao and Devi to Ranchi from Hazaribagh district in Jharkhand.

Both Devi and Sao are accused in a case relating to violent clashes between villagers and police in 2016 in which four persons were killed.

Devi, a Congress MLA, had led an agitation against NTPC authorities for their alleged attempt to forcibly evacuate villagers from Barkagaon without giving them due compensation or rehabilitation, according to police.

Green hope for Ranchi’s ‘dead river’


The state forest department on Sunday started planting trees along the banks of the Harmu rivulet in the capital to try and rejuvenate the water body that has been reduced to a dirty drain.

A part of the month-long Van Mahotsav-cum-Nadi Mahotsav inaugurated by chief minister Raghubar Das on July 7 near Jumar river, the rescue of Harmu rivulet was a stiff challenge, said people present at the site, as it was clogged by wastes from houses around it.

“The river is dead and looks even worse than a drain,” said Justice S.N. Pathak of Jharkhand High Court who was the chief guest on the occasion. He added that “oxygen or Coramine (the popular former trade name of nikethamide, a stimulant which mainly affects the respiratory cycle) can’t bring the dead back to life”, but also appreciated the forest department’s efforts to green the area. “Trees give us oxygen to survive,” the judge said.

State’s principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Sanjay Kumar, who was present with over a 100 others comprising forest officials, NCC cadets and citizens, said he hoped that planting saplings would help improve the condition of the rivulet and its surroundings.

“About 6,000 saplings will be planted along a 2km stretch by the side of Harmu rivulet within the capital,” Ranchi divisional forest officer (DFO) Saba Alam Ansari said. “We will plant trees wherever space is available,” he said without going into the open secret of encroachment in the area. He added that as the area was beside a road in the city, they were planning on flowering trees such as gulmohar, peltophorum (copperpod or yellow flame tree) and night jasmine, saplings of which would be protected by cattle-guard and wire fencing.

“As per this year’s plan, 45,000 saplings will be planted alongside the 15km stretch beside the Subernarekha river and 15,000 saplings alongside the 5km stretch beside Jumar river,” Ansari added.

PCCF Kumar had earlier told the media that 8.26 lakh saplings would be planted on a total of 274km of banks along 44 rivers across the state during the Vanmahotsav-cum-Nadi Mahotsav that began on July 7 and will continue till August 6. The department had planted about 9 lakh saplings along the banks of 24 rivers in as many districts of Jharkhand last year of which about 80 per cent survived, he had added.

Scores of Harmu residents turned up at the planting event. “Harmu rivulet may be in bad shape but trees are the need of the hour and I will do my bit,” said Md Gafoor who stays nearby. “I’ll take a few saplings from the forest department to plant on the small plot that I own.”

Jharkhand HC bench recuses from hearing CBI plea in case involving Lalu Prasad


A Jharkhand High Court bench recused itself from hearing a petition filed by the CBI seeking enhancement of the jail term of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and five others in a fodder scam case.

When the petition came up for hearing, Justice K P Dev said that since he had been a counsel for the CBI earlier, he wished to stay away from hearing the matter.

The bench of Justice Apresh Kumar Singh and Justice K P Dev then directed that the petition be sent to another bench.

A special CBI court had sentenced Prasad and five others to three-and-a-half years prison term while sentencing another convict to seven years of incarceration in the same case.

The CBI moved the high court seeking enhancement of the jail term of Prasad and five others, contending that the case pertained to conspiracy and the sentence should be the same – seven years – for all.Prasad has been serving jail term in a number of fodder scam cases in Ranchi.