The Democratic Students’ Alliance Manipur (DESAM), Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Sinpanglup (AIMS) and All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) on Tuesday demanded the punishment of “culprits” of the Manipur Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination (MCSCCE) 2016 “fiasco”.
In a joint press statement, the three student bodies said the MCSCCE 2016 was quashed by the High Court of Manipur “for various lapses and irregularities” in the conduct of the examination. The statement also said that, “as civil society organisations we welcome any step for the eradication of corruption, and this case being one that concerns the whole Manipur public, the MCSCCE 2016 fiasco should lead to clean up of every nook and corner of the premier recruitment and selection agency of the state viz. the Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC), and at the same time we fervently demand that there should not be any collateral damage”.
The three student bodies then said they are for objective and timely implementation of the judgement pronounced. “Every culprit involved in any form of corruption in the MPSC examination must be given exemplary punishment,” they further demanded.
According to the joint statement, it has been one year since the judgement was dispensed, “and we appeal to the state government to accord this case the highest priority”.
The three student organizations then asked, “Are the youth of the state not worthy citizens? Are the aspirants of MPSC exams not deserving of justice? Are the terminated officers of MCSCCE 2016 3rd class citizens made to suffer simply for opting to serve the state? We want to make it clear that we as a student body are just as aggrieved as the aspirants of MPSC, and the genuine selected candidates who were abruptly terminated. If not the state government who will ensure that the youth of the state have healthy aspirations. If it is not the state government, then who will safeguard the rights of the genuine selected candidates who now live like social outcasts for no fault of their own?”
The joint statement of the three student bodies then said that MPSC is hurriedly trying to conduct re-exam of MCSCCE 2016 mains before those who are responsible for the MCSCCE 2016 fiasco are penalized and before even making proper rules only creates doubts and distrusts in the minds of the public. “We call upon the government of Manipur to take a proactive role to ensure that the ends of justice are met,” the statement said. It also said the government must do what is right and not what is convenient.
With regards to the MPSC, the three student bodies said the government must take responsibility if MPSC is not upholding its duties. The joint statement further said that MPSC must not be allowed to conduct any examinations till the culprits are penalised, “and they must be penalized at the earliest”. The statement further said that more than one year has elapsed since passing of the judgement which is more than sufficient time to determine who committed what.
Regarding the selected candidates, the three student bodies said that any of them who engaged in “wrongdoings should suffer the consequence, whereas those who are innocent should be given protection and not discarded to bear the penalty of the wrongs of some other people”. They also said the people of Manipur deserve full and equitable justice. They added that MPSC must be made into a responsible constitutional body, for which it has the mandate, and stopped from behaving like a “remorseless destroyer of the youth”.
According to the joint statement, the fiasco of MCSCCE 2016 cannot simply end in a whimper without anyone held accountable. It also said the court had termed the rules of MPSC as half-baked rule, and pronounced that it is the right time to penalize MPSC for the misdeeds it has been doing for many years. “Therefore, MPSC must be ordered to bring out rules that meet the benchmark of the country,” the three student bodies demanded. “It is also extremely important to make accountable those who made the half-baked rules,” they added.
Three student bodies then said, “Every person concerned with wrongdoings leading to the MCSCCE 2016 fiasco must be held accountable”. The statement also said that it has been a long wait for fitting punishments to the culprits involved and two inquiries into the exam had already taken place, “albeit with contrasting results (first in 2016-17 constituted by a Single Judge, and second in 2017-18 by another Single judge), thus it is fervently hoped that the CBI Investigation ordered by the Hon’ble double bench brings out the culprits at the earliest”.
AIMS, DESAM and ANSAM then said that, as responsible organisations, “we also empathize with the unfortunate terminated candidates who are innocent and genuine but somehow became collateral damage and plead upon every member of the state to desist from name-calling and stigmatization”.
According to the joint statement, it is common knowledge that many of these terminated officers are from honest and humble backgrounds and they grief insufferably at their misfortune. They also seek the “closure” to at least find out who are the culprits that led to the colossal failure of a constitutional body i.e. the MPSC, the three student bodies stated. They further said the selected candidates have gone through and are still facing intense vilifications which have not only destroyed their good repudiation but also “brought unbound sufferings” to their families as a whole.
“It needs to be remembered that they are also sons of the soil of Manipur, children of proud parents, and now many of them have started families themselves becoming parents to their own children,” ANSAM, DESAM and AIMS added.
“Therefore, we once again call upon the Government of Manipur to clean up the MPSC as a priority and to ensure fair and equitable justice for all innocent candidates,” the three student bodies said. “Further, we also implore all the authorities involved to expedite the matter towards the justice ends and the three bodies would not remain silent if the justice is not served,” they added.