The Enforcement Directorate has attached properties worth Rs 1.4 crore of Assam Public Service Commission‘s former chairman in connection with a recruitment scam of candidates in government services in the state. Rakesh Kumar Paul, the then-chairman of Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) is being investigated by the ED under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of Assam Police’s FIR filed against him in 2018.
According to officials, the attached 7 immovable properties worth Rs 1.30 crore includes two flats and commercial space in Guwahati along with Rs 10 lakh cash which was seized during searches at his Assam’s residence.
The Assam Police had filed an FIR against Paul under Prevention of Corruption Act and criminal conspiracy in connection with irregularities related to recruitment of candidates in state government services through examinations conducted by Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) in and around 2014.
According to sources, in one of the incidents, Rs 10 lakh was demanded from a candidate for selection for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP). Out of this, Rs 5.5 lakh was paid in April 2014. However, the candidate was not selected and when the bribe money was not returned, he lodged an FIR with the Assam Police in 2018.
Investigations by State Police established that Rakesh Kumar Paul along with other accused hatched a criminal conspiracy and manipulated the system of selection of candidates in APSC in lieu of illegal gratification.
“Our probe under PMLA revealed that accused Rakesh Kumar Paul had invested the illegitimate money in purchasing various movable and immovable properties in his name and in the name of his family members at different locations in Assam. The investigation further revealed that Rakesh Kumar Paul purchased the properties at much lower prices as shown in the agreement papers and sale deeds as compared to their market value at the relevant point of time,” said the ED.
The probe agency claims that the value of the property shown in the sale deeds were hugely suppressed by Rakesh Kumar Paul to launder the proceeds of crime.