Published On: Tue, Nov 13th, 2018

2017 SSC exam paper leak: Supreme Court asks CBI to file final report within four weeks

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the CBI to place before it within four weeks its final report regarding the probe into the alleged leak of papers of the 2017 Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examination.

A file picture of candidates staging a protest outside the SSC office at Lodhi Road, New Delhi on February 27 demanding a CBI probe into the paper leak.

“The CBI shall submit a final report to this court within a period of four weeks on all issues referred to it. They shall also keep the case diary ready in court for perusal, if necessary, on the next date of hearing. List on December 13,” a bench of Justices S A Bobde and L N Rao said.

The examination papers of the SSC Combined Graduate Level (CGL) 2017 were allegedly leaked, leading to huge protests from job seekers for several days.

Amid the protests, the SSC had recommended a CBI probe into the allegations of paper leak.

On October 29, the apex court had favoured cancelling the 2017 SSC examination, whose declaration of result was stayed by the court in August, and holding it afresh by the National Testing Agency or the CBSE “in the interest of students”.

It had refused to agree with the Centre’s contention that the examination held in February this year got “tainted” due to a technical snag and a fresh examination of one paper had been conducted thereafter.

The court had also said that even after the CBI probe or investigation by any agency, there was no mechanism by which it could be determined who all were tainted and who all were innocents.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Shantantu Kumar who had sought cancellation of examination, had said that contract of private company Sify Technologies Pvt Ltd, which had conducted the examination, was now over.

He had said that the court can now order the Staff Selection Commission or any other government agency to conduct the examinations.

The Centre had earlier said that the problem occurred in only one examination paper, held on February 26, and it was due to some technical snag.

The Centre had termed the allegations of paper leak as “bald and in general” and opposed the contention for scrapping the entire examinations.

On August 31, the apex court had stayed the declaration of result of the SSC CGL and Combined Higher Secondary Level (CHSL) Examination held in 2017, in which lakhs of students had appeared, saying it seemed that the entire test and the system was “tainted”.

The SSC is a government body which conducts examinations to recruit staff at multiple levels in various ministries and departments. Several lakh students appear in the SSC examination each year and enter government services in Group C and D Categories of jobs once they qualify.

The SSC Combined Graduate Level exam has a four-tier system, in which tier I and tier II are computer-based, while in tier III and IV, job applicants take up a descriptive paper and a computer proficiency test or skill test.

PTI

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