The Bombay High Court observed that incidents of mass copying and paper leaks are a “curse to the system”, and they take away the fruits of labour from meritorious students.
A division Bench of Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice A M Dhavale of the Aurangabad bench of the HC said, “We also feel that mass copying, leakage of papers are a curse to the system of assessment of competency and merits. The persons indulging in such activities, within short time, on the basis of acquired manipulated intelligence, take away the fruits from hardworking meritorious students (sic).”
The court was hearing eight petitions filed by 192 people assailing the order of Assistant Director Postal Services Recruitment on November 25, 2016, whereby examination for the post of Postman/Mail Guard held on March 29, 2015 and examination for the post of Multi-Tasking Staff (MTS) held on May 3, 2015 were cancelled. The petitioners also sought directions to the Chief Post Master General to restore the selection list declared earlier as successful candidates.
The court was informed that through a notification of January 24, 2015, the Chief Postmaster General invited online applications for 1,701 posts of postman and 733 posts of MTS to fill up vacancies created in 2009 to 2014.
During pre-appointment formalities, irregularities and suspicious circumstances were found. For example, one candidate had secured only one mark in Class X in Maths and he got 100 per cent marks in the recruitment process in the subject. Similarly, another candidate, who had secured 12 marks in maths in Class X examination secured 100 marks in the subject in recruitment process.
A list of such candidates was provided. A comparative study revealed a similar trend of low scorers in Class X exams scoring higher than those who did well in SSC exams. The department decided to stay the process and not issue appointment orders.
A decision was taken on November 25, 2016 to cancel the examination and terminate the appointed candidates, and to hold a fresh examination. The bench said, “We find that the cancellation of entire examination is not sustainable…” It set aside the order cancelling the entire exam.
The bench suggested measures to prevent leaks. It said the highest authorities of the department should ask paper setters to set the paper just an hour before the exam. It further suggested the prohibition of use of electronic devices as well as the use of CCTV cameras and mobile jammers at exam centres.