Bengaluru: The Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) is grappling with internal conflicts as rift between the chairman, certain members, and the secretary escalate, prompting the state government’s involvement.
In a letter addressed to state government, chief secretary Rajneesh Goyal, KPSC secretary KS Lata Kumari sought government intervention to address the ongoing discord that threatens the smooth functioning of the commission.
The letter emphasizes the need for the chairman and members to operate transparently and efficiently, avoiding actions that could bring embarrassment to the commission and the government. Government sources have indicated that the secretary has also sought the issuance of instructions to ensure the completion of selections for various posts in adherence to established rules.
A major point of contention outlined in the letter pertains to the recruitment process for the position of KPSC Law Cell Head (HLC). Allegedly, five members engaged in inappropriate behavior towards a commission staff member, who subsequently filed a retirement request after being absent from the office, creating an atmosphere of fear.
The secretary has become a defendant in court, facing contempt of court charges. Notably, the secretary’s consent is required for the appointment to the HLC post. The secretary contends that the HLC selection process, conducted by the commission’s selection committee, lacked transparency.
Consequently, the file was returned, and additional details were requested. The chairman purportedly instructed the issuance of the HLC appointment order without addressing these concerns, leading to the secretary’s dissatisfaction.
The letter asserts that the refusal of the president and some members to approve the selection list before the HLC appointment is unconstitutional. It urges the prompt disposal of pending files to safeguard the interests of candidates, the KPSC, and the state.
In another incident outlined in the letter, minutes of a commission meeting held on the 12th were ordered by the president to be published on the website. However, the copy was sent directly to the computer center, bypassing the secretary. When the secretary’s consent was sought, a confrontation ensued at the computer center involving members Vijayakumar D, Kuchanure, MB Heggannavar, BV Geeta, and Mustafa Hussain Syed Aziz. The secretary’s authority was questioned, leading to an uncomfortable and humiliating situation.
A staff member at the computer center, expressing distress over the incident, wrote to the secretary, seeking voluntary retirement due to the suffocating and fearful atmosphere. Ten staff members from the computer center have reportedly signed as witnesses to the incident. Furthermore, the letter sheds light on the resignation of the Head of Law Cell (HLC), SH Hosgaudar, whose term was until 2023. Hosgaudar refused to opine that the commission should pay an amount exceeding Rs 12 lakh for the chairman’s personal legal case. Pressured into resignation, the secretary was instructed to relieve Hosgaudar from duty, and the matter was brought up in the commission meeting.
The secretary underscores in the letter that the head of the legal cell did not succumb to pressure and ensured independence in actions against the chairman and members. As the internal strife within the KPSC unfolds, stakeholders await the government’s response to restore harmony and effective functioning within the commission.