BANGALORE: “Only because you’re a woman and belong to the scheduled tribe (ST) category, the amount you have to pay to get the assistant commissioner (revenue) post is Rs 70 lakh. Otherwise, it’s Rs 1.5 crore,” the PA to a woman member of the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) told Dr HPS Mythri. The doctor was the topper in the ST category in the Karnataka Administrative Services (KAS) examination for 2012.
This was only one of several calls reportedly made to Dr Mythri, 34, between March 20 and March 28, 2013, after the results of the KAS (Mains) were declared on March 16. The calls were for the personality test which KPSC conducts for candidates who qualify in the Mains and is the last phase of appointments.
With chief minister Siddaramaiah ordering a probe into the KPSC recruitment scam, all the 362 appointments made for gazetted group A and B have been kept in abeyance.
Dr Mythri, a paediatrician and whistle-blower of the scam, told TOI: “Several cash-for-post offers were made. I was told, ‘You fulfil our terms and conditions, the job is yours’.” She had opted for rural development and Kannada literature as optionals.
KPSC notified the examinations for 362 posts on November 3, 2011. She cleared the prelims in April 2012, followed by the Mains in December 2012 and January 2013. She topped in the ST category, scoring 1009 out of 1,800 marks. She also scored 432.5 out of 600 in Kannada literature, also the highest. The difference between her and the person who came in second was 72.5.
“The personality tests, scheduled to commence from April 1, were postponed to May 7 as the assembly poll code was in force. There was a lull in telephone calls after March 28 as I told them my husband would not like me giving me bribe to get a job,” she said. Her husband Dr Pujar said: “Once a person pays a bribe, the priority after getting the job is to recover the money.”
Her interview was scheduled for May 10 and on May 6 at 8pm, the PA called her again. “I was told I’d lost the assistant commissioner’s job and the next level of executive officer in a taluk panchayat was available for Rs 50 lakh,” she said.
The interview was an eyewash. “The candidate is being assessed for a senior post and the interview lasted only 4 minutes. I was asked four questions on how many taluk panchayats are there, why I chose rural development, whether my husband would join me here and why I opted for the KAS though I was a doctor,” she said.
She got only 75 out of 200 marks, while the woman who came second scored 150. “I was told by the woman member she was under tremendous pressure from a VIP to give the post to the second topper,” Mythri claimed.
What does she want now? “All candidates should be interviewed again and it should be videographed. The KPSC corruption had not been questioned in the open for fear of losing the post. The probe should do justice to us.”