Telangana HC Grills TSPSC Over Lack of Security Measures for Group-1 Exam

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Thursday posed a barrage of questions to the secretary of the TS Public Service Commission (TSPSC) on the lacunae in the conduct of the Group-1 preliminary examination on June 11.

Justice P. Madhavi Devi questioned why candidates were not identified through the biometric system and why the OMR sheets did not display hall ticket numbers or have candidates’ photographs.

The judge was hearing a batch of petitions that sought that the exam be cancelled and held afresh.

Justice Madhavi Devi sought to know from the TSPSC why it could not put the security measures in place, given that they were implemented for the exam held on October 16, 2022, which had to be cancelled due to a question paper leak.

The court did not agree with the TSPSC’s standing counsel M. Ramgopal Rao, who said the TSPSC would have had to pay '1.5 crore for implementing the biometric system, besides huge costs for printing lakhs of OMR sheets with hall ticket numbers and photographs of students.

Rao informed the court that invigilators had verified the identity of candidates through other identity proofs, such as Aadhaar and PAN cards or voter ID, and that it was the discretion of the TSPSC to take required security measures.

Further, TSPSC counsel said that of the 3.8 lakh candidates who took the exam, only the three petitions had a grievance.

To this, Justice Madhavi Devi observed: “TSPSC is obligated to put all security measures in place to ensure that the examination is conducted in a transparent and fair manner… it is the statutory duty of the TSPSC to provide all those things… TSPSC is collecting a fee from the candidates to put all those security measures in place… money is not the criteria here at all… what money will the TSPSC save by not putting such security measures in place?”

Alluri Giridhar Rao, counsel for the petitioners, informed the court that in the absence of the security measures, any person could write the examination.

“The absence of biometric system during the conduct of Group-1 preliminary examination raises serious doubts on TSPSC allowing the invigilator to decide the authenticity of the candidate. It is nothing but doubting the sanctity of the TSPSC because the invigilator can permit any person to write the examination,” he contended.

The court directed the TSPSC to submit its counter, mentioning its stand, and adjourned the case for three weeks.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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