CBI probes into certificate forgery in Odisha postal service recruitment; 67 places searched

Bhubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched an investigation into alleged certificate forgery in postal service recruitment in Odisha by carrying out raids at multiple locations in the state.

More than 204 officials including 123 officers from the CBI and 82 personnel from other departments conducted searches at over 67 locations across various districts including Kalahandi, Nuapada, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore and Bhadrak in connection with the alleged massive scam.

The probe was carried out following a complaint lodged by the Director of Postal Services, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, alleging massive corruption in the recruitment process in Odisha Postal Circle.

On May 9, 2023, the CBI had registered a case under sections 120-B, 420, 468, and 471 read with 511 of the IPC, and section 7(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (as amended in 2018) on a complaint by Postal Department against 63 candidates of the Gramin Dak Sevak Exam, 2023 (Odisha Circle) & others including unknown officials of the postal department and unknown private persons.

The complaint was lodged against the recruitment process for 1,382 posts of Gramin Dak Sevak (GDS), for which online applications were invited on 27th January 2023. The minimum qualification required was a 10th pass certificate from any recognized board, with proficiency in the local language being mandatory. According to the procedure, applicants were required to upload their certificates and mark sheets to a centralized server. Selection was automated based on the marks secured in the 10th standard. Selected candidates were informed via SMS and email and were asked to report to the verifying authority within 15 days for document verification prior to their appointment.

During the verification process, the Odisha Postal Circle allegedly discovered that 63 candidates from various postal divisions, including Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Kalahandi, and Barhampur, had submitted forged or fake 10th pass certificates. These certificates were allegedly issued by the Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Allahabad; West Bengal Board, Kolkata; Jharkhand Academic Council, Ranchi; among others. The complaint suggests alleged involvement of an interstate racket in creating and supplying these forged certificates in collusion with the candidates.

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