13 Sep 2023 8:32 AM GMT
In a significant order today, the Supreme Court came to the aid of candidates who faced the cancellation of their candidature in the upcoming UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, 2023. The Court directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC-respondent) to issue admit cards to eight candidates for the Mains Exam which is scheduled to take place coming Friday (September 15). This...
In a significant order today, the Supreme Court came to the aid of candidates who faced the cancellation of their candidature in the upcoming UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, 2023.
The Court directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC-respondent) to issue admit cards to eight candidates for the Mains Exam which is scheduled to take place coming Friday (September 15). This interim relief is subject to the final outcome of their petitions. The UPSC had rejected the candidature of two of the petitioners due to the non-submission of provisional certificates in support of their educational qualification. As regards other six petitioners, the UPSC had cited certain errors in the Economically Weaker Section(EWS) certificates.
The bench comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra ordered, “As far as petitioners 1 and 2 are concerned, the results of the undergraduate exam have been declared and therefore at this stage, whether they'll be qualified is an aspect which will require consideration subsequently. Keeping in view that the Civil Services Mains exam scheduled to be held on 15.9.2023, the interest of petitioners will be affected if they are not allowed to appear for the examination. Making it subject to the final result of this petition, we direct the respondent to issue the necessary admission ticket to appear for the exam".
Similar relief was given to six other petitioners, whose candidatures were rejected due to errors in the EWS certificates.
Advocate Gaurav Agarwal along with Advocate-on-Record Tanya Shree appeared on behalf of the petitioners.
At the outset, Advocate Gaurav Agarwal argued that the petitioners were students at the relevant time and were in their final year of the qualifying examination. He stated that the results have been declared by their Universities after submission of DAF- I, wherein the Petitioners have passed the qualifying examinations. Therefore, the petitioners at the time of filling the DAF-I submitted their Bonafide Certificate issued by their respective Universities and an undertaking stating that they will submit their final degree as soon as the same is made available to them.
He further submitted that “As per Rule 3 Note II of Civil Services Rules, 2023, a candidate who has appeared for the UPSC Prelims Exam, 2023 his attempt is counted, whether he qualifies for Mains Exam or not. In the present case, the petitioners who have duly qualified for the prelims exam and have a requisite educational qualification at the time of the Mains Exam, 2023. If their candidature is canceled at this stage, they will lose out an attempt for no fault of theirs.”
He contended that the exclusion of petitioners on the ground that they had not submitted proof of their educational qualification by the due date i.e. July 19 t, 2023 without taking into consideration the fact that the results of the Petitioners were declared after the submission of DAF-I would be arbitrary.
In the case of discrepancies in EWS certificates, Advocate Agarwal argued that UPSC's rejection of candidates based on minor errors was unreasonable and arbitrary.
He pointed out “the example of petitioner No. 8- Shweta Tiwari where the Respondent had arbitrarily rejected her candidature on the ground that there was overwriting on the EWS certificate.”
He submitted that “the Competent Authority had clarified that any such overwriting is on their part and there is no fault of Petitioner No. 8, yet the said certificate is not being considered by the respondent.”
Also Read - UPSC Civil Service Exam : Supreme Court Reserves Judgment On Plea Of Candidates Who Were Denied EWS Reservation Due To Error In Certificates
Case title: Deepanshu & Ors v. UPSC| Pranav Kesharwani & Ors v. UPSC
Citation: W.P.(C) No. 979/2023|W.P.(C) No. 977/2023
For petitioners: Advocate Gaurav Agarwal along with AOR Tanya Shree
Click Here To Read/Download Order