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'Not Agreeable To Giving Extra Chance To Civil Service Aspirants In UPSC Exams': Centre Informs Supreme Court

Radhika Roy
22 Jan 2021 5:46 AM GMT
Not Agreeable To Giving Extra Chance To Civil Service Aspirants In UPSC Exams: Centre Informs Supreme Court
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"Received information from the government that they are not agreeable", submitted Additional-Solicitor General SV Raju to the Supreme Court on Friday in a plea seeking for an extra chance for civil service aspirants in giving UPSC exams on account of the difficulties that may have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar was presiding over the...

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"Received information from the government that they are not agreeable", submitted Additional-Solicitor General SV Raju to the Supreme Court on Friday in a plea seeking for an extra chance for civil service aspirants in giving UPSC exams on account of the difficulties that may have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar was presiding over the matter and directed the ASG to file an Affidavit recording the aforementioned submission by Monday, the 25th of January.

"Yesterday night, I received information from the government that they are not agreeable. I would want to put this on Affidavit in a week", stated the ASG.

To this, the Bench inquired about the last date for applications. Accordingly, the ASG submitted that he would file the Affidavit by Monday.

The matter is now listed on the coming Monday, with the Centre having been directed to serve the Affidavit to the other Counsels

The ASG's submission comes as a departure from the previous submission that the issue was under "active consideration" of the Central Governement and the Union Public Services Commission.

At the previous hearing, the ASG had sought for time as previously the Centre had stated that the issue was under "active consideration" of the Central Government and the Union Public Services Commission.

The Court had informed the Counsels that under no circumstances should a situation arise when the last date of filling of forms goes. Though the ASG sought for time till February first week, the Bench said that he should get instructions soon.

On 18th December, 2020, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, had submitted that the Centre was not taking an "adversarial stand" with respect to the plea for extra chance and that a decision in that regard was likely within three or four weeks. The rules might need amendment for granting extra chance, he added.

On September 30, the Supreme Court had directed the Central Government and the Union Public Service Commission to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who otherwise have their last attempt in 2020, with corresponding extension of the upper age-limit.

That direction was given by a Bench led by Justice Khanwilkar in the case Vasireddy Govardhana Sai Prakash v UPSC while rejecting the petitioners' plea to postpone the UPSC exams scheduled in October 2020 in view of the COVID19 pandemic.

The Court directed the authorities to take a decision in that regard "expeditiously".

The relevant observations in the Court order are as follows:

"The fourth point raised before us is that some of the candidates may be giving last attempt and also likely to become age-barred for the next examination, and if such candidates are unable to appear in the examination due to Covid-19 pandemic situation, it would cause great prejudice to them .In this regard, we have impressed upon Mr. S.V.Raju, learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry ofHealth and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to explore the possibility of providing one more attempt to such candidates with corresponding extension of age limit. He has agreed to convey the sentiments of the Court to all concerned and to take a formal decision thereon expeditiously".

On October 26, the Department of Personnel and Training informed the Supreme Court that the issue regarding grant of extra attempt to last chance candidates was under the consideration of the authorities.

Based on that submission, a Bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar disposed of another petition (Abhishek Anand Sinha v Union of India) observing that it was not appropriate for the Court to pass orders when the matter was under the consideration of the concerned authorities.

"The issue raised in this Writ Petition is under consideration of the appropriate authority and in light of the observations made by this Court in order dated 30.09.2020 in Writ Petition(C) No. 1012 of 2020, needful is being done in the matter. As a result, it may not be appropriate to precipitate the matter further. We leave it to the competent authorities to assuage the grievance of the Petitioners, as brought before this Court in the present Writ Petition appropriately", the Bench observed in the order.

The present petition is filed as a sequel to the above proceedings seeking compensatory extra chance for civil service candidates.


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