Thursday, June 20, 2024
North East

Assam mulls 10-yr jail, Rs 10 cr fine for unfair means in recruitment exams

Guwahati, February 5: The Assam government has proposed to impose punishment of up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 10 crore on anyone found involved in unfair means in recruitment examinations, the state assembly was informed on Monday.
Introducing the Assam Public Examination (Measures for Prevention of Unfair Means in Recruitment) Bill, 2024, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the proposed legislation will give full immunity to any government officer implementing the clauses in “good faith”.
Sarma, in the Memorandum of the Bill, said it empowers the government to punish any person, including examinees, indulging in any attempt to leak, produce, sell, print or solve question papers directly or indirectly to assist a candidate and hold tests in undesignated centres.
Such a person will be imprisoned for a minimum of five years, extendable up to 10 years, and shall also be liable to be fined at least Rs 10 lakh, which can go up to Rs 10 crore, the Bill mentioned.
“…in case of default of payment of fine, such person shall also be liable to be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term of two years,” it added.
Besides, an examinee just indulging in unfair means is liable to be punished with imprisonment of up to three years and also liable to be fined a minimum of Rs 1 lakh, and another nine months of jail in case of default in payment, the tabled legislation said.
The Bill will also empower the government to debar any examinee from taking any public examination for a period of two years if he or she has been convicted under the provisions of this law.
“The court shall make an order of recovery of any wrongful gains made by such person, by way of attachment and sale any of the assets/property movable or immovable, or both, of such person,” it said.
The Bill also proposed to make all offences as cognisable, non-bailable and non-compoundable, and authorise an officer of deputy superintendent of police rank or above to probe the crimes.
It also said that “no suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding” shall be applicable against any public servant acting under the direction of the Assam government for anything done or planning to do in “good faith” under this Act.
The government in consultation with the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court will also institute special courts, headed by not below Additional District and Sessions Judge, to try offences under this Act.
Sarma, in the Statement of Object and Reasons of the Bill, said that it aims to provide an effective measure to prevent and curb the leaking of question papers and the use of unfair means in job tests to any post under the state government, including autonomous bodies, authorities, boards and corporations. (PTI)