28 Feb 2022 7:29 AM GMT
Three civil services aspirants, who missed out the papers of the Union Public Service Commission's (UPSC) Civil Services Main Examination due to COVID-19, have approached the Supreme Court seeking relief.The Supreme Court on Monday directed the petitioners to serve advance copy of the petition, in which they are seeking an extra attempt at Mains, to the UPSC. The bench of Justices AM...
Three civil services aspirants, who missed out the papers of the Union Public Service Commission's (UPSC) Civil Services Main Examination due to COVID-19, have approached the Supreme Court seeking relief.
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the petitioners to serve advance copy of the petition, in which they are seeking an extra attempt at Mains, to the UPSC.
The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar while adjourning the matter to March 7, 2022 in their order said, "List on 7th March. Let advance copy be served to the respondents."
Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan submitted that the matter related to Main exams and was different from the earlier case relating to preliminary exams in which the Supreme Court had declined interference.
"The petitioners tested CoVID positive during mains. They could have suppressed and lied to attend the papers, but they didn't", submitted Senior Counsel.
Bench at this juncture while asking the petitioners to serve advance copy to the respondents said, "Give advance copy. Let the other side come & respondent. List on 7th March. Let advance copy be served to the respondents."
The petition was preferred by UPSC aspirants who had cleared UPSC-2021 Prelims Examination and were entitled to appear in the UPSC Mains Examination was scheduled from 7th January to 16th January 2022.
It was stated in the petition filed through Advocate on Record Shashank Singh that petitioner 1 and 2 had to leave the exam in-between, after appearing in initial two papers whereas Petitioner No 3 could not appear for any of the papers of the same exam, after getting infected with COVID-19.
"The Petitioners No. 1 to 3 could not give UPSC Mains Examination being Covid Positive and owing to the restrictions imposed under the strict quarantine guidelines of the Government," the petition stated.
The petitioners argued that absence of any kind of policy of UPSC which could provide arrangements for CoVID positive aspirants during the span of mains examination or before it was violative of Article 14 and 16 of Constitution of India, 1950.
In this regards, petitioners in the alternate had also sought relief for making some arrangements to enable the petitioner to appear in the rest of papers which they could not do before the publication of result of Civil Service Mains Examination 2021.
It is pertinent to mention that the Top Court in July 2021 had refused to pass directions to the Central Government and the Union Public Service Commission to grant one-time age-relaxation to those candidates who could not appear in the 2020 examination due to COVID-related difficulties and restrictions.
The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna had given the candidates liberty to submit representations before concerned authorities seeking extra attempt and had urged that the authorities may take a lenient view on the plea for extra chance in the light of the COVID pandemic situation.
Case Title: Arjit Shukla and Others v Union of India | WP(c) 92/2022
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