Forty-seven officials from Delhi’s three prisons have been given a ‘show cause notice’ and their salaries have been suspended after a biometric verification campaign inside the prison last month detected an inconsistency with the recorded records during their recruitment test, senior prison officials said.
Authorities now suspect that the 47 staff members may have secured the posts by sending other candidates to take the written exam. As part of the recruitment procedures, the biometric data of candidates are recorded when they pass the written test.
Sandeep Goel, Director General of Tihar Prisons, said: “A biometric verification campaign was carried out by the DSSSB in the prison department during the last week of November. All new Delhi Prison candidates from 2019 (Warden and Deputy Superintendent grades) recruited through DSSSB (Delhi Subordinate Service Selection Board) examinations were selected by matching their biometric data to the data. retained at the time of recruitment. As a result of the exercise, 47 cases of preliminary mismatch were detected. Further action will be taken after receipt of the final report from the DSSSB.
Civil servants are employed as guards (40), matrons (2) and deputy superintendents (5) in the three penitentiary complexes of Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli, where approximately 19,000 prisoners are housed. All have been stationed in different sub-prisons within the three penitentiary complexes over the past two years.
Prison officers said the notice of justification and suspension of pay is only the first step. The Prison Department, which reports to the Delhi government, will share their responses with the DSSSB – the government body that recruited them. According to the DSSSB report, the prison service is likely to approach the police.
A prison officer, who asked not to be named, said the biometric verification campaign was carried out after the DSSSB received an anonymous complaint that some Delhi prison officers tricked the system into getting a job.
Prison officers said the fraud was alarming as Delhi’s three prisons have large numbers of prisoners – some facing death threats, according to the intelligence bureau. Inmates such as the underworld Don Chhota Rajan, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter contract Christian Michel, and many others involved in terrorism cases are housed in these prisons.
“Of the 47 officials, those posted in sensitive areas of the prison were immediately removed from these posts,” said one officer, who requested anonymity.