The Delhi High Court recently dismissed the plea of a Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) aspirant claiming that he missed the timeline for uploading the application form for Indian Forest Service (Mains) exam as he was “not aware” of the notification.
The candidate had challenged an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal which had dismissed his plea to sit for the IFS mains exam on November 20.
A division bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela observed “the timelines prescribed by UPSC for candidates to upload the form are sacrosanct and cannot be tinkered with”.
The petitioner had argued before the court that he had qualified in the preliminary exam held on June 5 and was required to fill up the detailed application form (DAF) for IFS (Mains) separately. The deadline for filling the DAF online was August 18, 6 pm, which the petitioner failed to do.
The petitioner argued that he was not aware of the date and time by which the form had to be filled and when he was made aware of the notification, he immediately attempted to fill it but by the time he could fill up the form and upload it, the portal had closed.
He further contended that he is a resident of Chakradharpur, Jharkhand and had travelled to his hometown Jaipur where he suffered from vertigo.
The petitioner argued he returned from Jaipur on August 15 and due to heavy rains, hilly terrain and high Naxal presence, the network connectivity was poor and he could not get the notification timely. He also argued that the UPSC had not furnished a fixed timeline for the IFS mains notification and he had to regularly check the commission’s website or newspapers.
He also argued that he was on strong medication for vertigo and sleeping most of the time and was unable to check his phone.
The court observed UPSC had notified the timeline for filling up the DA between August 8 and 18. “…petitioner had travelled to Jaipur on 08.08.2022 and was in Jaipur till 14.08.2022. Since petitioner was in Jaipur from 08.08.2022 to 14.08.2022, the contention of the petitioner that on account of bad connectivity, he could not check his phone or become aware of the notification, cannot be accepted because admittedly, there is no contention that there was bad connectivity in Jaipur,” the court observed.
The court held that the petitioner had 11 days to fill up the form and hence it could not acccept his contention that he was unaware of the notification.
The court further observed that other than the prescription for vertigo from a Jaipur neurosurgeon, the petitioner had not submitted any other medical document to show that he was either disabled or “suffering from such circumstances beyond his control, that he would not upload the application form within time”.
Dismissing the petition, the court held, “Accordingly, we find no infirmity in the order of the Tribunal dismissing the O.A. filed by the petitioner”.