The petition seeking transfer of case pertaining to leakage of Haryana Judicial Service Exam on Tuesday was withdrawn from the Supreme Court, but not before making some startling revelations and casting serious doubts on the high and mighty.
Petitioner Suman, a Haryana Judicial Service Exam aspirant, had approached the apex court praying that her petition seeking probe into allegations of leakage be transferred from Punjab & Haryana High Court to Delhi High Court.
She made serious allegations against a sitting Punjab & Haryana High Court judge and doubted the manner in which her petition was taken away from the single judge, when he was about to reach the bottom of the matter, and placed before a three-judge bench.
With the Supreme Court refusing to entertain the transfer petition and suggesting that it can be approached after the high court decides the matter, Suman withdrew her transfer petition.
Suman's writ petition for probe into the alleged leak is listed for hearing before the three-judge bench on Wednesday i.e. September 13.
Genesis Of The Controversy
On March 20, the Haryana Public Service Commission advertised 109 posts of HCS (judicial branch) pertaining to recruitment to subordinate judicial services.
Suman, an advocate, applied for the same and started attending Jurist Academy in Chandigarh for preliminary examination.
One woman named Sushila, a resident of Panchkula, also joined the same academy. Suman and Sushila became friends and started sharing notes.
On May 25, HCS preliminary examination was announced to be held on July 16.
On June 28, Sushila inadvertently shared an audio recording with Suman where she was talking to a woman named Sunita, who was promising her appointment as subordinate judicial officer for Rs. 1.5 crore.
Later, Sushila told her that Sunita can get her the question paper of the preliminary examination.
The petitioner and her husband, in order to elicit truth, started conversing with Sushila regarding the availability of the question paper.
Somewhere around July 16, Sushila told Suman that she had struck a deal with Sunita and disclosed 5-6 questions, which she said would appear in the preliminary examination.
Suman was shocked to realise that all those questions did come in the preliminary examination.
Sushila had also told Suman that no amount of preparation would help, as all the posts for the general category have already been booked or sold.
Petitioner’s husband Manoj made a complaint before the Director General of Police on July 19, but did not receive any response.
Suman Moves HC
Manoj then made a complaint before the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, and annexed a compact disc containing conversations among Sunita, Sushila and Suman.
On August 5, Manoj and Suman were constrained to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court by way of a writ petition titled Suman versus State of Haryana and others seeking directions for registration of a case and to conduct investigation in the allegations.
Single Judge Takes Serious View Of The Matter
The single judge took note of the matter and on August 8, summoned the registrar-general, who informed that an enquiry is being conducted.
In the meantime, Sushila moved an application stating that she had received information from the newspapers that the petition containing allegations against her has been filed on the basis of telephonic conversation and that she was instrumental in leakage of question papers of the subordinate judicial services.
On August 16, the single judge ordered as under: "Since it is claimed in the petition that not only the paper of HCS preliminary examination was leaked, but it was a whole package involving the main examination which is yet to be conducted and for which paper was yet to be set and also the process of interview, therefore, tentatively I am of the view that the inquiry should have been conducted at much higher level which is now to be considered and decided by this court...."
Sushila Tops The Exam
The results of the exam were placed before the court in a sealed cover and it was found that Sushila and Sunita had topped the exam.
The single judge ordered, "In the meantime, the declaration of the preliminary examination result is hereby stayed. The registrar recruitment of this court is directed to file affidavit stating as to who had handled the examination papers right from the time it was set till it was distributed in the examination hall and also disclose the name of the officials who have been deputed in handling and printing of the papers officially and whether anybody else entered the room where the papers are printed without being deputed for the same.."
Suman's prayer for impleadment of the CBI was kept pending.
Recruitment Committee Rushes For Transfer Of Case From Single Judge
After the single judge passed the order indicating involvement of the high and mighty, members of the recruitment committee approached the acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 28 itself seeking transfer of the case from the single judge.
"Without waiting for the chief justice to join back office, the Acting Chief Justice passed an order on August 29 withdrawing the case from the single judge," said the petitioner.
Petitioner Questions Bona Fide, Moves SC For Transfer
"The recruitment committee headed by the seniormost judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court got the case transferred for reasons the petitioner is unable to comprehend, but leaving her wholly suspect about the bona fide of the exercise," she said in her transfer petition.
After the withdrawal of the case from the single judge, it was taken up by the full bench consisting of three judges.
The single judge, who was hearing the matter, was not made a part of this full bench.
The matter will now come up before the three-judge bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court tomorrow.