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Fake certificate; Kerala-cadre IAS officer in trouble

Thiruvananthapuram: The Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) of the Union government has launched an inquiry against a Kerala-cadre IAS officer who is suspected to have submitted a fake community certificate to clear the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination.

If found guilty, the accused, a 2016-back officer who is currently serving as a sub-collector in Malabar, will be disqualified and terminated from service. He has been summoned by the Ernakulam district collector for a hearing on October 25.

The complaint was that he allegedly produced a bogus non-creamy layer certificate by willfully providing false information about the family’s income in order to obtain benefits under the OBC non-creamy layer category in the UPSC examination.

In the UPSC application form, the accused, who secured the 215th rank in the 2015 examination, made a false declaration that his parents did not come under the tax ambit and that they did not have a PAN (Permanent Account Number). It was later revealed that both his claims were untrue.

In the affidavit submitted along with the application, the family’s annual income was mentioned as Rs 1.8 lakh in 2012-13, Rs 1.9 lakh in 2013-14 and Rs 2.4 lakh in the 2014-15 fiscal. During the aforementioned period, the income limit to claim benefits under the OBC non-creamy layer category was Rs 6 lakhs per annum.

However, according to a report submitted by the local tahsildar as per the directions of the Ernakulam collector, the family’s annual income was Rs 21,80,967 in 2012-13, Rs 23,05,100 in 2013-14, and Rs 28,71,375 in the 2014-15 fiscal.

The income certificate and the non-creamy layer certificate submitted by him would be held invalid based on the inquiry report. He will be stripped of the rank obtained under the OBC non-creamy layer category. Also, criminal proceedings will be initiated against him for furnishing false information in the application.

It was in last July that the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions directed the state chief secretary to inquire into the matter. In the letter undersigned by S K Verma, under secretary, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, it was indicated that the probe was ordered based on documentary evidence suggesting that the non-creamy layer submitted by the applicant was fake.

The chief secretary has also been directed to find the authenticity of the community certificate (No. 4601/2015/AS) and the income certificate (No. 4529/2016/AS) submitted by the accused.

(With external inputs from Manorama)

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