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UPSC Exams : Age-Barred Civil Service Aspirants Who Exhausted Last Chance Move Supreme Court For Extra Attempt

Radhika Roy
17 July 2021 4:55 AM GMT
UPSC Exams : Age-Barred Civil Service Aspirants Who Exhausted Last Chance Move Supreme Court For Extra Attempt
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Some Civil Services aspirants have approached the Supreme Court seeking impleadment in the plea praying for an extra attempt in the Union Public Service Commission examination.The Application for Impleadment has been filed on behalf of candidates who are age-barred and have exhausted their last attempt in October 2020. "It is submitted that the Applicants were severely affected by the...

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Some Civil Services aspirants have approached the Supreme Court seeking impleadment in the plea praying for an extra attempt in the Union Public Service Commission examination.

The Application for Impleadment has been filed on behalf of candidates who are age-barred and have exhausted their last attempt in October 2020.

"It is submitted that the Applicants were severely affected by the sudden onset of the pandemic and could not prepare well for the examination owing to the hardships faced due to COVID-19. The Applicants are not seeking to set aside the very conduct of the exams, but are only praying that in view of the extra-ordinary, force majeure like situation, which was beyond the control of any of the candidates one extra/additional attempt may be provided to them for appearing in the subject examination", the application says.

The intervention application is filed in the writ petition Abhishek Anand Sinha and others vs Union of India and others.

Reasons for inability to clear the exam have also been listed, with one Applicant belonging to a poor family and being the son of a farmer, to another Applicant testing COVID positive along with his family in September-October 2020, and another Applicant's locality being declared as a containment zone.

The plea, filed through Advocate Malvika Kapila, submits that in 2020, UPSC had agreed to give a one-time restricted relaxation to only those candidates who had appeared in the 2020 examinations as their last permissible attempt and were otherwise not age-barred. However, those who had not exhausted their attempts and were age-barred were not allowed to attempt the same.

In its 24 February 2021 judgement, the Supreme Court had rejected a plea to allow extra-attempt for UPSC exams, but made it clear that its decision would not restrict the Executive from exercising its discretion if the situation so called in the future.

On 4th March 2021, UPSC notified the Rules for the 2021 examination and chose not to relax the age-eligibility criteria for the exam in the current year, which led to certain candidates filing the instant petition.

"It is submitted that the Applicants are aggrieved by the Rules in as much as they have failed to provide any age relaxation and/or an additional attempt to candidates who crossed their upper age limit in the year 2020".

The Application goes on to aver that the competitive examinations require rigorous preparation and that the measures related to curbing the pandemic had immense negative ramifications on the mental health of the candidates – "It was in these circumstances, coupled with lack of proper infrastructure, poor preparation, lack of study materials, that the Applicants appeared for their final attempt at fulfilling their dreams of becoming a Civil Servant".

Submitting that no hardship will be caused to anybody if the present Application is allowed, the Application states that granting one more opportunity would allow the Applicants to come one step closer to achieving their long drawn career goals.

The matter is listed before the Supreme Court on 19 July.

Recently, on 28 June 2021, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition filed by six aspirants seeking an extra chance in the exam on the ground that the 24th February 2021 judgement covered the issue.


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