By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 13, 2024: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday carried out searches at over 67 locations in connection with alleged forgery of matriculation certificate for getting jobs in postal department.

The searches have been conducted across various districts of Odisha including Kalahandi, Nuapada, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Kendujhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, and Bhadrak in connection with the alleged case following a complaint lodged by the director of postal services, Bhubaneswar.

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

When the case was first busted by Odisha police in Bolangir district in March last year, they found that 38 of the 83 candidates selected for various posts under Grameen Dak Seva in Bolangir postal division had secured 98-99% marks in matric and produced the marksheet and certificates of Uttar Pradesh Secondary Board of year 2000. Later the case was transferred to state CID which arrested 20 people.

Of the 1,382 candidates shortlisted for posts, many were found securing 100% marks while dozens of candidates had marks above 98%.

The alleged forgery came to light last year in March when Rajendra Kumar Patnaik, superintendent of Balangir, postal division found many candidates with 90%+ marks who could not write basic English words.

A complaint was lodged against the recruitment process for 1,382 posts of Gramin Dak Sevak (GDS), for which online applications were invited in January 2023.

The minimum qualification required was a class 10 pass certificate from any recognised 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 centralised server. Selection was based on the marks secured in class 10. Selected candidates were informed via SMS, 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 officer allegedly discovered that 63 candidates from various postal divisions, including Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Kalahandi, and Barhampur, had submitted forged or fake class 10 pass certificates.

However, when the postal authorities asked them to sign their names in English and write simple words, all of them fumbled triggering suspicion over the authenticity of their documents.

Unlike the postal assistants who are recruited through entrance examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Grameen Dak Seva postmasters and mail carriers are selected on basis of their matric marks.

These certificates were issued by 40 Indian boards and universities of Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, New Delhi and Jharkhand.

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