Rashid Paul

HC quashes KAS (mains) examination

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Srinagar, Mar 13: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed the Public Service Commission (PSC) to cancel the ongoing KAS mains examination and conduct it afresh.

A division bench of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar Shukla directed the Public Service Commission (PSC) to conduct the examination afresh after disposing off an appeal filed by the PSC against its single bench order allowing 429 candidates to appear in the mains examination.

The 429 candidates were debarred by the PSC from appearing in the mains examination after it reevaluated the preliminary results following  the representations that answer key was wrong.

“We direct the cancellation of the main examination at whatever stage it is as on date and direct the appellant (PSC) to hold the main examination afresh," said the Bench.

Pertinently, for filling up 277 vacancies, the PSC had on June 18, 2016 invited online applications from the permanent residents of the Jammu and Kashmir for admission to the J&K Combined Competitive (Preliminary) Examination, 2016.

The court also directed the PSC to permit 429 candidates who were shortlisted in the first result of the preliminary examination but couldn’t participate in the main exam on the basis of their merit determined by the process of reevaluation.

It also directed the PSC to allow 2365 candidates who have obtained higher merit in the process of reevaluation equal to or more than the marks secured by the last candidate amongst 429 candidates.

“Since the examination in question has been delayed due to litigation, we hope and trust that the appellant (PSC) make immediate steps to hold the main examination and complete the whole process culminating into declaration of result without any further wastage of time,” the bench said.

Pertinently, for filling up 277 vacancies, the PSC had on June 18, 2016 invited online applications from the permanent residents of the Jammu and Kashmir for admission to the J&K Combined Competitive (Preliminary) Examination, 2016.

The Commission received 47,122 applications in response, out of which 36,681 candidates appeared in the Preliminary Examination held on March 19, 2017.

Some 6,925 candidates were shortlisted for the mains examination. The cut-off merit stood at 270.477 marks out of 450.

The result of the preliminary examination was declared by the Commission on April 23, 2017 and online applications from the successful candidates were sought for appearance in the mains exam which was scheduled to be held on May 09, 2017.

However the Commission instead of conducting the mains examination, came up with a notice on June 14, 2017 whereby the result of the preliminary examination declared on April 23, 2017 was kept in abeyance.

The action was claimed to be adopted by the PSC following allegations of discrepancies in question papers and answer keys of the preliminary examination.

The matter was referred to the third party which however gave revised answer keys and the results of the preliminary examination were declared afresh.

The new course of action affected 429 candidates, shortlisted in the earlier result notification but who could not make it in the revised result notification, and were now deemed ineligible to participate in the mains examination.

They consequently approached the court.

The single bench of the High Court directed their inclusion in the mains but the Commission went along with its bureaucratic mindset and disallowed these candidates from appearing in the mains examination citing weird rules and regulations, resulting in today’s extraordinary direction of the cancellation.

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