The Hon’ble High Court (Manipur) in its October,2019 judgment categorically stated that, “It is the right time for MPSC or for that matter, its staff or officials to be penalized for their misdeeds which they have been doing for the last many years and if not penalized now, they would continue to do so in future at the cost of public interest and public money. From the aforesaid facts and circumstances, it can be safely held that the MPSC has no intention to conduct any examination in a fair and just manner. It had, in present case, miserably failed to discharge its duties and functions as mandated in the constitution of India. It would like to continue holding examinations, only in name, with a half-baked rule so that it could manipulate it.”
This was apparently to send a message to all, that irregularities by MPSC will not be tolerated, that MPSC is incompetent to hold exams in a fair and just manner, now and has been for the last many years and must be called to task. However, it is baffling to know and observe that the reins seem safely back in the hands of MPSC with no reformation and no problem in conducting more than 20 (twenty) exams between 2016 and 2019. These exams conducted under the same “half-baked rules” were acceptable by all, including 2012, 2013 and 2014 civil services examinations, not to mention Medical Officers, MSPDCL and many gazette posts but just not the MCSCCE 2016 examination.
It is mind-boggling that the purpose of “MPSC or for that matter, its staff or officials to be penalized for their misdeeds…” seemed served by terminating 81 officers of the State Government. It is owed to the people that MPSC be called to task and reformed, however it harrowingly bewilders the rational mind and begs the question how exactly has the MPSC been reprimanded by stripping 81 abled unsuspecting officers of the State Government off of their dignity of life and be paraded as corrupted officials in the social media, stigmatizing them for taking the brunt of the Hon’ble High court verdict on MPSC? Their hands were tied as serving officials to retaliate strongly and mouths gagged as terminated officials to prove their innocence without any locus standi but continue to suffer as collateral damage.
Justice awaited by the terminated officers lies in the hands of the CBI enquiry report (to be conducted within 3 months as per the verdict of Hon’ble High Court 18th October 2019). Further extension of another 6(six) months has been granted with effect from 1st August 2020. It is also a matter of record that MPSC has challenged the CBI enquiry in the Hon’ble Supreme Court too. However, MPSC through its notification 14th August 2020, made known its intention of conducting mains re-exam not awaiting the CBI enquiry report. Once again it has the free reins to conduct the re-exam with the same “half-baked rules” is beyond moral reasoning. That the aspirations of the many once again be at the mercy of what the Hon’ble High Court observed “in present case, miserably failed to discharge its duties and functions as mandated in the constitution of India”.
Are we all willing to sacrifice innocent youths (as long as it’s not our own) to save the entire village from the wrath of the demon or in hope for the rain as in ancient days? The terminated officers have been made the sacrificial lamb at the altar of condemnation allegedly for the greater good. And their pleas of help to make sense of it all seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as they are dragged through public discourse in the most undignified manner. What an unfortunate regressive turn of events! It is also alleged that there are some among the selected candidates who have paid their way into the service. If that is the case, why haven’t those in the know (and actively spreading the rumors), mustered the courage to call them out and take them to task? It would seem to have been the most logical thing to do for those who knows the truth and are fighting for Justice. But instead they’d rather have the entire herd die because it is less tedious and messy than to deal with the actual problem and root out the delinquents.
Many innocent people and their families have lost their livelihood simply because some are determined just enough to light the fire but not diligent enough to put it out so we have the entire forest burning to ashes. These terminated officers whose only crime was to have burnt the midnight oil and applied for the MCSCCE 2016 examination with the hope for a better future and a more responsible and meaningful life has been overwhelmingly and devastatingly let down by the administrative lapses of the recruiting agency and though it sounds incredible, it was a historic moment in that, victims were made to pay the price in full for the crimes/wrongs of their perpetrators, and the public applauded it. This should have seemed disgusting and ridiculous to many thinking persons, but unfortunately, they are in the minority.
So, to tie all these together, the question that begs to be answered is: Is everything set right by terminating these officers? Has anything been accomplished as a result of sacking these officers? With all the virtuous words and campaigns that was seen to have been carried out by some over-zealous section of the society for a better and transparent MPSC, all that was achieved by far was destroying the lives of 81 abled officers, against whom no direct legal allegations have ever been made giving them no locus standi to argue their position and stripping them off their dignity and parading them as miscreants in the social media. That, my dear readers, according to some is allegedly how you make a better and transparent MPSC. God forbid, but with such precedence anyone or any family could end up being the next sacrificial lamb of atonement in cleaning up the system.
Justice for one is Justice for all. But it is hoped that many will see the insincerity and insecurity through the façade of virtue signaling of some section of the society and voices be raised for what is true and just, though it may be inconvenient to dig deeper and look harder to find that truth. It is also hoped that with the CBI enquiry report, if any, or all the terminated officers are found innocent, that the government will make efforts to make amends for the staggering damages suffered by the terminated officers and their families. May such dramatic trauma never befall any person as it did to the batch of 2016, Manipur Civil Service who aspire to contribute to the society through the State Government Service.
Views are personal. The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org