BSF Officer Denied Bail for Fifth Time in J&K Recruitment Scam

A BSF officer, Karnail Singh, has been denied bail for the fifth time in connection with a police sub-inspector recruitment scam in Jammu and Kashmir. Singh is the main accused in the case and has been charged with facilitating the leakage and sale of question papers related to competitive examinations, thereby jeopardizing the careers of thousands of young aspirants. The high court rejected Singh’s bail application after hearing both sides, accepting the argument of the senior additional advocate general and CBI counsel Monika Kohli that the investigation in the case is still underway.


Singh was arrested by the CBI on October 18, 2021, for allegedly using touts to obtain the question paper of the police sub-inspector recruitment examination conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) in March. He was among 24 persons charge-sheeted by the CBI in the case on November 12, 2021, and was termed the main accused and the kingpin of the conspiracy.

Court’s Observations

Justice Sanjay Dhar, while rejecting Singh’s bail application, stated that economic offences need to be viewed seriously and considered as grave offences affecting the economy of the country as a whole, thereby posing a serious threat to the financial health of the country. He further added that the charges levelled against the petitioner cannot be termed as ordinary charges and constitute a class apart that needs to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail.

The court directed the CBI to complete further probe in the case and file a supplementary charge-sheet, if any, expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months. Justice Dhar, in his 13-page order, did not agree with the petitioner that he was wrongly and falsely implicated in the case. He said it has been submitted by the respondent that another FIR related to the question paper leak of the finance accounts assistant examination conducted by the JKSSB has been registered and the role of the petitioner has surfaced.

The report of the enquiry committee set up by the government is damning against the petitioner (Singh), Justice Dhar said. It noted that the petitioner had managed to induct several candidates in the BSF against financial consideration and that he had advertised secretly that he would help prospective candidates in passing the medical tests. The report further records that the petitioner has close links with some high and mighty politicians.

In the face of the petitioner’s propensity to indulge in similar types of offences, it may not be appropriate to enlarge him on bail at this stage when the investigation relating to the larger conspiracy of question paper leakage of sub-inspector posts is still underway, Justice Dhar said.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration headed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha cancelled the selection of 1,200 police sub-inspectors, 1,300 junior engineers, and 1,000 finance account assistants in July last year following allegations of paper leak and malpractices. The high court also took note of the repeated bail applications moved by the accused over the past five months in the court of chief judicial magistrate, Jammu, additional sessions judge and the high court. Justice Dhar stated that he does not find any merit in the bail application of the accused, and the same is dismissed.

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