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HC directs UPPSC to maintain “fairness, transparency”

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has directed Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission to maintain “fairness, transparency and objectivity” in the conduct of examinations and to root out “with iron hands” “nepotism of any kind whatsoever and by any one howsoever high or low.”

Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court
Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta, passed the order on May 4 while disposing of a PIL filed by Sunita Sharma and another person, which had prayed for directions to the state government for handing over investigation into the leakage of question papers for PCS preliminary examination held on March 29 to CBI.

They had also sought cancellation of both papers as against UPPSC’s decision to reschedule only one and withdrawal of criminal cases against students involved in protests that took place after the leakage in front of the Commission’s headquarters here.

While declining to grant the aforesaid reliefs, the court referred to an April 9 order by another division bench wherein similar prayers made in a writ petition filed by some of the affected candidates were turned down.

Nevertheless, the court issued a number of directions “which can legitimately be the subject matter of these proceedings”.

Noting that the leakage “wa not in dispute” and that it affected 2.65 lakh candidates, the court held that the “Public Service Commission must act and act decisively” so that young students did not “lose their confidence in the examinations conducted by UPPSC.”

The court, however, made it clear that to prevent such lapses in future “what the nature of the preventive steps should be is a matter for the Commission, as an expert body, to decide”.

It stressed that with regard to the recent leakage, UPPSC should conduct “its own internal assessment or audit of the circumstances in which the lapse took place, affixing responsibility, if any, upon any individual who is found guilty”.

“Appointment to a public service is even today an important source of public mobility. The Commission, which is entrusted with a solemn obligation of conducting examinations transparently, must take all precautions to ensure that the systems and processes which it puts into place enable the maintenance the highest standards of rectitude”, the court remarked.


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