The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) to re-evaluate answer-sheets of the PCS preliminary examination that was held in September last year.
The Bench comprising Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Saral Srivastava, however, did not find it necessary to direct a re-examination.
The Court was hearing a batch of eleven Petitions alleging that answers to a few questions in the exam were either incorrect, vague or confusing. They had further alleged that a few answers in the answer key were incorrect and that some questions had more than one correct answer. In total, 14 such questions had been pointed out by them.
In order to examine the correctness of the assertions, the Bench carried out a question-wise inquiry into the impugned questions and their answers, noting that the scope of judicial review in the case at hand is very limited and that the Court can order re-evaluation only if it is demonstrated clearly that a material error has been committed in framing of the questions or their notified answers.
Relying on several precedents, the Court noted the scope of such review observing, "...one thing can safely be culled out that the Apex Court has repeatedly held that the Court should be very slow, cautious and circumspect in interfering in the process of selection. The prime reason for recognizing the power of review is that purity or fairness of selection process should be maintained and further the student should not suffer for the fault of the Commission as the career of a student is at stake."
It further explained, "...the Court while re-evaluating/scrutinizing cannot adopt the inferential process of reasoning or a process of rationalization to analyze the correctness of the answer of the Commission notified in the key answer sheet...
...we must keep it mind that the scope of judicial review with regard to the correctness of the answer in the question paper is very limited. Unless and until, it is demonstrated without any ambiguity that the answer suggested by the Commission in key answer is patently wrong only then the court can interfere with the answer suggested by the Commission."
The Court then directed re-evaluation of 12 such questions, and ruled that the candidates who would qualify as a result of such re-evaluation would be the only ones entitled to appear in the main written examination.