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CBI arrests Indian Overseas Bank union president in job scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested retired special cadre assistant of the Indian Overseas (IOB) Bank L Balasubramanian and produced him before a court in relation to a 2010 job scam in Tamil Nadu.

Balasubramanian, also president of All India Overseas Bank Employees’ Union, was accused by CBI of being kingpin in the scam, where 950 temporary messengers and sweepers were recruited in Chennai, Tuticorin, Karaikudi, Vellore, Salem and Thanjavur. He was allegedly instrumental in designing the permanent absorption to extract illegal gratification from the candidates over a period, claimed CBI.

It says Balasubramanian was instrumental in introducing age and educational qualification criteria to better manipulate the candidates and negotiate with them.

“He was instrumental in getting some candidates who were his house helps absorbed in IOB. He also directed the regional union representatives to collect illegal gratification from probable candidates and he is the main beneficiary of the same. Vacancies were also manipulated during the recruitment. The recruitment was divided into phases to enable them to have greater scope for demanding illegal gratification. Most of the candidates so recruited found ineligible and were subsequently terminated from service,” said CBI.

Searches were conducted at 18 places across Tamil Nadu in connection with the case, still under investigation.

All the regional secretaries, vice-president and general secretary of the union as well as a few officials of the bank’s head office homes were arrested recently.

Earlier reports stated that the accused forged SSLC certificates of the recruits to show they had failed Class X in order to fit into the job specifications and ensure they were not overqualified.

After CBI raids at their residences early this year, the employees were placed under suspension.

CBI’s anti-corruption branch in Chennai had registered a case and conducted searches on the bank’s establishments in different parts of the state in May, based on information that many candidates managed to get an appointment using fake certificates.

It was alleged that the people recruited as daily-wage workers in the bank for several years were made regular in 2010. The educational qualification for the post of sweeper and messenger was SSLC failed. Many applicants who had passed SSLC or Plus-Two produced fake certificates claiming that they had failed in Class X.

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