SURINDER MOHAN KATWAL Vs. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
SURINDER MOHAN KATWAL
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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(1.) Criminal appeal No. 2272 of 2011, Criminal appeal No.2273 of 2011 and Criminal Appeal No. 2275 of 2011 arise from a common impugned order dated 11.05.2011 whereby the High Court of Himachal Pradesh at Shimla convicted the appellants Surinder Mohan Katwal and Dr. Vidya Nath under Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Sections 420, 120-B, 218 and 477-A of IPC; and appellant-Rakesh Kumar Chhabra under Sections 120-B and 420 IPC, reducing the sentence imposed on each of the appellants to one year.
(2.) Common facts arising out of these criminal appeals are as follows:- At the relevant point of time, appellant Surinder Mohan Katwal was the Chairman of the Himachal Pradesh Subordinate Staff Selection Board (HPSSSB) with headquarter at Hamirpur and appellant Dr. Vidya Nath was a Member of that Board. Recruitment process was being carried out by the Board in lieu of 238 vacancies of Physical Education Teachers (PET) available in different schools of various districts of the state. Selection was to be made in three stages comprising of screening test, ground test and viva-voce. Candidates who appeared successful in the screening test were allowed to appear for ground test and those successful in ground test were called for viva-voce. Final selection was based on the merit list prepared by considering both the marks obtained in viva-voce as well as in the ground test.
(3.) In order to facilitate the viva-voce, two boards were constituted, one headed by appellant-Surinder Mohan Katwal, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board and the other headed by appellant-Dr. Vidya Nath, as a Member of Board. Appellant-Rakesh Kumar Chhabra was interviewed by the Board headed by S.M. Kotwal. As per the score-sheet of the candidates, earmarked as Ext. PW3/A, the appellant-Rakesh Kumar Chhabra was awarded '7' marks in the viva-voce. Considering '51' marks in ground test, his total marks obtained was indicated to be '58' and accordingly he was remarked as 'below average'.;
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