The Government confronted the ire of the Supreme Court on Thursday for submitting an affidavit by an Under Secretary within the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) with out indicating at whose degree the essential choice was taken to disclaim an additional probability to last try candidates of the Civil Services (Preliminary) examination performed final 12 months. The Centre now has 24 hours to file a greater affidavit earlier than the highest court docket.

More than 100 candidates who gave their final try and get into Civil Services on October 4, 2020 had sought an additional probability as a one-time exemption. While some have been frontline employees employed on COVID-19 duties and received little time to arrange for the examination, there have been others who couldn’t entry on-line examine materials because of poor web connectivity in far-flung areas.

Dashing their hopes, the Centre filed an affidavit on Monday that any exemption granted to the petitioners may have a cascading impact as even the non-final try candidates will search parity. To be eligible to present the Civil Services (Preliminary) check, normal class candidates can take six makes an attempt until they’re 32 years. In case of OBC candidates, there’s leisure upto 9 makes an attempt and 35 years. While within the case of SC/ST candidates, they’ll strive as many occasions until they attain the age of 37.

On Thursday, a three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar lashed out on the Centre for not submitting a “proper” affidavit. The bench remarked, “This affidavit says nothing. At whose level has this decision been taken?” The Court additionally expressed displeasure over the affidavit being filed as a routine one by an Under-Secretary within the DoPT. “It is meant to be a policy decision and a one-time exception. Such a decision should have been taken at the highest level. Your affidavit says nothing about it. Is this the way to file an affidavit?”

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju agreed to file a greater affidavit inside a day because the bench postponed the listening to on the petition to Friday. For the petitioners, senior advocate CU Singh knowledgeable the Court that they have been hardly left with a selection however to write down the examination because the Centre didn’t take a call previous to the examination on whether or not an additional probability can be accessible.

On September 30 final 12 months, the apex court docket had allowed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to proceed with the October Four examination however left the choice of offering an additional probability to the discretion of the Centre. The Centre had knowledgeable the Court that this facet was into consideration of the Government.

The DoPT affidavit of Monday was silent on how the choice was arrived at. The affidavit as a substitute argued that the petition can’t be heard because the petitioners willingly sat for the examination and approached Supreme Court after the announcement of outcomes. Any aid to the Petitioner, the affidavit stated, “would also result in seriously prejudicing other candidates in the future.” Creating an exception for the 100-odd petitioners would have a “cascading effect detrimental to the overall functioning and level playing field necessary to be provided in any public examination system,” the Centre acknowledged.

Over 4 lakh (0.Four million) candidates appeared within the CS (Preliminary) Examination-2020 underneath the COVID-19 pointers that stipulated carrying of masks, use of sanitizers, social distancing, and many others.

The petitioners, alternatively, acknowledged that having carried out COVID-19 duties they have been erratically positioned with different candidates. In their petition filed by advocate Anushree Kapadia, they acknowledged, “During this pandemic, while everyone had a choice to save their attempt by leaving the exam in 2020, while taking care of their health, the chance candidates were given no choice at all and had to sit for the exam, despite the lack of opportunity to prepare.” In their rejoinder to the Centre’s affidavit, the petitioners raised questions over the style through which the choice to disclaim them an additional probability was arrived at. They even highlighted {that a} junior rating officer had filed the affidavit.

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