New Delhi, Jan 28 : The Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up the Centre for filing an affidavit, in response to petitions by civil services aspirants seeking extra chance, which did not disclose the level of the decision-making for its stand.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), in an affidavit, told the apex court that civil services aspirants who have exhausted all their attempts in the exams held in October last year, should not be given an extra attempt.
A bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar expressed its dissatisfaction at the affidavit not having any information at which this decision has been taken by the government.
The affidavit said: “It may be noted that providing an extra attempt could further have a cascading effect by creating a ground for challenge on part of those candidates who have already appeared for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination-2020. Accommodating the present petitioners would create a cascading effect detrimental to the overall functioning and level playing field necessary to be provided in any public examination system, it added.
The bench told the Centre’s counsel it preferred the affidavit should have been filed by a high-ranking official, and the decision should have been taken at the highest level. “It is a policy decision and a one-time exemption,” it said, asking the Centre’s counsel to file the affidavit properly.
The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on Friday.
The Centre had emphasized that the contention by the petitioners, who moved the top court through advocate Anushree Prashit Kapadia, that their preparation was hampered due to the stress caused by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, does not hold weight as the UPSC had already given extra time to the candidates by postponing the CS (Preliminary) Examination-2020 from May 31, 2020 to October 4, 2020.
“Denial of an additional attempt to the petitioners, will make them suffer serious discrimination qua other petitioners who may not have faced similar hurdles as the writ petitioners in their preparation,” the petitioners had argued. The DoPT emphasised that other non-final attempt candidates, who undertook the examination this year without any murmur of discontent, would be disadvantageously placed in future examinations if the relief sought by the petitioners is granted.
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