HC reserves judgment on PSC appeal against writ court verdict

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Feb 23: The High Court today reserved its verdict on appeal filed by Public Service Commission challenging the writ court judgment where it was directed to allow those candidates to sit in final combined competitive exams, who were declared illegible by the PSC.
The Division Bench of Justice J R Kotwal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar after continuously hearing the matter for last three days, reserved the verdict.
The PSC, in support of its arguments, also submitted that allowing those 429 candidates would open the gate for more than 2300 candidates who may claim for appearing in the Mains.
“Whether under Rule 12A of the J&K Public Service Commission (Conduct of Examination) Rules 2005 Commission is constrained to complete the process of rectification of result within a period of three days and are estopped to do it after three days”, the PSC counsel submitted.
He informed the Court that by allowing candidates with lower merit to appear in examination and denying the same benefit to candidates with higher merit does not amount to gross violation of principle of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The PSC also submitted in its appeal as to whether on mere declaration of result a candidate gets indefeasible/irrefragable right and the so called right matures into his eligibility and/or consequences of rectification of result by applying corrected Model (Key).
On the other hand Counsel appearing for aggrieved candidates drew attention of the Court as to how and in what manner discrepancies in whole process of Preliminary examination were committed by PSC at the cost of 429 candidates who were left out for appearing in the Mains compelling them to knock the doors of the Court.
Referring to the Rule 12(A) of the Rules envisages three days time to the candidates to make representation to the Control of Examination about the issue related to question papers, whatever error is occurred in the question papers, the counsel submitted that there is no constraint of time in submitting the representation.
On receiving the representation regarding the discrepancies in question papers about wrong options commission carefully examined the representations and a gist was prepared by the team of experts and on the basis of expert opinion total 26 questions in 8 subjects were deleted but marks were redistributed equally among the rest of the questions to ensure that the overall marks allotted to remaining question paper remain unchanged.
Writ Court while giving relief to those KAS aspirants, who were not allowed to sit in the exams, held they shall be allowed to sit and participate in the Main exams along with other candidates.
Writ court had said the Public Services Commission (PSC) flouted the earlier order of the court with impunity and did not pay any regard to the order, directed to allow the candidates figuring in first list as also those figuring in revised list to sit and participate in the Main exams.
It may be mentioned here that 429 candidates were left out by the Commission out of 6925 candidates with the saying that they are inellegible to sit in the examinations. Aggrieved with the decision of the Commission, various candidates had approached the court by way a writ petition which the court allowed in December 29 last year.
PSC while issuing a notification providing therein that the candidature of those 429 candidates who could not make it to the revised cutoff merit for appearing in the main examination shall be deemed to have been rejected being ineligible and their Main examination fee shall be refunded.
Court, in this connection recorded that the issuance of such a notification on the face of the order ‘smells foul’ and does not augur well particularly when the respondent-commission (PSC) admitted before this Court that they will accord consideration to the petition of the petitioners by passing speaking orders in them.
6925 candidates, including the present petitioners, were declared as qualified for admission to the J&K Combined Competitive (Main) Examination, 2016. The number of the candidates admitted to the Main Examination was in the proportion of 25 times of the total number of vacancies, which came to 6925 candidates in roll order, thereby making the last cut-off point as 270.477 marks out of aggregate of 450 marks.