The Allahabad High Court has come to the rescue of more than half-a-dozen candidates by directing the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) to allow them to take the Combined State/ Upper Subordinate Services (Mains) Examinations 2013 (commonly known as PCS examinations), which will be held on July 1.
The candidates were disallowed from appearing in the mains examination, despite having scored more than the cut-off marks in the prelims, on the ground that they had not properly filled their forms. However, the court said the proforma was ambiguous and hence the petitioners ought to be given benefit of doubt.
A Division Bench of Justices Tarun Agarwala and Ram Surat Ram Maurya passed the order on June 13 in connection with a bunch of petitions, the lead petition being that of Ajay Pratap Singh and others, filed through their counsel Dr D K Tiwari.
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The court said: “In the light of this ambiguity contained in column No. 20 of the application form, the court is of the opinion that the benefit of this ambiguity is required to be given to the petitioners. Since the petitioners are eligible for the post of Designated Officer and they have obtained more marks than the cut-off marks depicted by the Commission, the court is of the opinion that the candidates being eligible should be permitted to appear in the Mains examination.”
The pre-examination was held on June 26, 2013, and the results were declared on May 23, 2014. The mains examinations are to be held on July 1, 2014.
The court has directed the UPPSC to extend the deadline for depositing the fees for these candidates till June 23, which is also the last date for filling up the form for the Mains examination. Their names would also be included in the list of candidates called for the mains examination for the post of Designated Officer, the court said.
Counsel for the petitioner, Dr DK Tiwari, said: “The minimum educational qualification for the post of Designated Officer was M. Sc in Chemistry. In column No. 19, the candidates were supposed to fill up their educational qualifications. My clients mentioned M. Sc (Chemistry) in that particular column. The column No. 20 asked for ‘Other Essential Qualification’.
“Since the aspirants had already mentioned M. Sc (Chemistry) in column No. 19, they mentioned ‘nil’ in column No. 20. This was used as an argument by the UPPSC not to call them for the Mains examination even though their marks was above the cut-off marks on the ground that their educational qualification was not as per requirements. We had challenged the same.”
Earlier, the court had directed the UPPSC to demonstrate before it the entire online and offline registration process.
The court said: “We are of the opinion that the column No. 20 has no relation with the specified post, for which specified qualification was prescribed. The court also notices that this ambiguity was rectified by the Commission while issuing the advertisement in the year 2014.”
The advertisements for PCS exams-2013 were issued on March 23, 2013.