The Supreme Court last week upheld the examination held for selection to the post of Assistant Signal-and- Telecommunication Engineer (ASTE) (Grade-B) against 30% LDCE quota vacancies in Gauhati.
The Bench comprising Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao opined that the State could not have cancelled the entire exam if only two students were found copying, observing, “In the circumstances, we find that it was not necessary for the authorities to cancel the entire examination when it was possible to disqualify the afore-mentioned two candidates who had found copying. In other words, the impact of copying was clearly identifiable and did not go beyond two candidates.”
The Court was hearing special leave petitions challenging a judgment passed by the Gauhati High Court in February 2015, whereby the High Court had affirmed an order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, setting aside the cancellation of the examination.
The authorities had cancelled the exam citing two reasons: (i) evaluation of answer sheets was not proper and uniform; and (ii) candidates had resorted to copying. The Apex Court however noted that while the first reason pertained to lapses on the part of the authority, the second reason did not stand as only two candidates had been found to have resorted to copying. It opined that the authorities could have disqualified the two candidates to rectify the situation instead of cancelling the exam.
The petitions were therefore dismissed, with the clarification that the two students who were found to be copying would not be entitled to the benefit of the order.