Former chairman of Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) Rakesh Paul, prime accused in the cash for jobs scam, has been granted bail by the Gauhati High Court. The single bench of Justice Devashis Baruah granted bail to Paul on Friday in connection with a case registered at the Bhangagarh police station here related to taking a bribe for giving jobs for the post of agricultural development officer. The bail was granted on the ground that he had already served one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment for the offense. Justice Barua directed Paul's release subject to certain conditions which include surrendering his passport, not to leave Guwahati without prior intimation and permission of the Special Judge, Assam and not to tamper with the evidence of the case.
He has also been directed not to contact the charge sheeted witnesses, and not to directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat, or promise to any of the witnesses. The judge also directed him to appear before the Special Judge in connection with cases related to the cash-for-job scam on each date fixed by the court. Paul was booked under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act including criminal conspiracy, cheating, and forgery for cheating, among others. Paul is likely to be released on Saturday after the completion of the necessary formalities.
Four cases were registered against Paul at various police stations in connection with the cash-for-jobs scam and he had already secured bail in the others. Paul was arrested by Dibrugarh police in November 2016 and has been in judicial custody since then. Besides Paul, more than 70 people, including Assam Civil and police service officers, were arrested in connection with the scam.