Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Friday expressed strong displeasure over discrepancies in the multiple choice question papers for a recruitment exam held by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) and asked it to "be careful and vigilant while holding such selections".
A Division Bench comprising Justice Dilip Gupta and Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta passed the order while deciding a bunch of petitions filed by Sunil Kumar Singh and nearly 100 other candidates who had appeared in the preliminary tests for the Provincial Civil Services held earlier this year.
The petitioners, who had failed to make it to the Mains, challenged the results of the Prelims citing a number of discrepancies in the multiple choice question papers, which were acknowledged later by the UPPSC.
The court said it was disposing of the petitions since "it has been brought to our notice that though the main written examination has been held, its result has not been declared so far", but directed the UPPSC to "re-evaluate the answer scripts, of the preliminary examinations, of all candidates".
"The candidates who are found to have qualified in the preliminary examination as a result of re-evaluation, shall become entitled to appear in the main written examination. In respect of such candidates, the Commission shall hold the main written examination at the earliest," the court ruled.
"The result of the main examination already held shall not be declared till the main written examination result of the candidates declared qualified as a result of direction issued by this court is declared," the court said.
"The Commission shall thereafter hold interview from the merit list drawn on the basis of results of both main written examinations, i.e. one held previously and the other that would be held in pursuance of the directions given herein," the court added.
Pointing out that "some of the candidates who have appeared in the main examination may fail to qualify in preliminary examination as a result of re-evaluation", the high court made it clear that their candidature "shall be cancelled" and "they shall not be entitled to participate any further in the selection process".
It remarked that in a judgement the Supreme Court had "deprecated casual approach of paper setters in providing wrong key answers and has further observed that in such cases, appropriate action, including disciplinary action, should be taken against those responsible".
"We abstain from issuing any direction in this regard in the absence of complete facts and figures being available, but we part with an earnest hope that the Commission will come alive to the responsibilities conferred upon it by the Constitution. It will be careful and vigilant while holding such selections as well as in its choice of experts," it said.
The court also observed "material placed before us by the Commission reveals that the remuneration paid to the experts is a pittance considering the nature of responsibilities and thus, we suggest the Commission to consider enhancing their remuneration so that best talent is available and such mistakes are not repeated in future"....