Delhi Judicial Service 2018: Aspirants Question Belated Answer Keys, No-Objection Clause

Delhi Judicial Service 2018:  Aspirants Question Belated Answer Keys, No-Objection Clause

Almost a fortnight after the results of the Delhi Judicial Service Preliminary Examination-2018 were declared, six DJS aspirants, including a civil judge from Madhya Pradesh, have moved the Delhi High Court seeking recomputation of marks after removing demonstrably erroneous questions and inviting objections to the questions and answer key published "belatedly".

The plea came up for hearing before the high court on Tuesday when the court was informed by its counsel that the high court committee would look into the matter and come up with something by the next day, informed advocate Prashant Manchanda, the counsel for the petitioner.

The petitioners, including the civil judge and an assistant professor, have sought a direction to the Registrar General to "recompute marks afresh and revise the results based on the crrections/deletion/amendments in the face of palpable errors in questions and answer keys after making requisite corrections as also restraining the Registrar General from conducting Delhi judicial mains exams 2018 till the results".

They also sought quashing of an earlier list of selected candidates declared successful on January 17 and prayed that a fresh list of eligible candidates be prepared after making requisite corrections with regards to the aforesaid questions.

The DJS 2018 preliminary examination was held on January 13 and on January 17, the complete result was declared.

Most of the petitioners, says the petition, could not qualify the exam by a minuscule margin of 0.25 to 1 on account of glaring infirmities and errors in the questions and answer keys.

Their counsel Prashant Manchanda told the court that the question paper contained wrong answers options and several questions had more than one correct answer whereas the answer provided only one of them to be correct as he highlighted several such questions in the petition.

He also questioned the belated answer keys and the clause which barred any objections to the same.

"Unlike earlier examinations of DJS, the model answer key was not uploaded on the website of Delhi High Court before the declaration of results, however belatedly and after the declaration of the results it was uploaded on 24.1.2019 without inviting any objections. Ironically, the respondent on the said date isolatedly removed only one inappropriate question which had more than one correct answers, whereas shockingly other many such demonstrably erroneous and wrong questions, also absolutely similar in nature, remained untouched without any course correction whatsoever," says the petition.

He has also sought quashing of Clause 13 of the General Instructions dated 04.1.2019 issued by the high court as he said, "General instructions for the guidance of the candidate appearing in Delhi Judicial Service (Preliminary) Examination 2018 dated 04.01.2019 was uploaded on 07.1.2019. In clause 13 of the Said instructions which was notified merely 6 days before the date of examination candidates were arbitrarily and irrationally barred from taking any objections to the Questions and Answer Keys which falls foul of the principle of Natural Justice and fairness".

Challenging this modus adopted by the high court, Manchanda relied on SC judgment in Richal & Ors. Etc. v. Rajasthan Public Service Commission & Ors wherein it was held that, "The publication of key answers is a step to achieve transparency and to give an opportunity to candidates to assess the correctness of their answers. An opportunity to file objections against the key answers uploaded by examining body is a step to achieve fairness and perfection in the process".