Updated: January 30, 2021 8:55:39 am
The Supreme Court Friday asked the Centre to inform it if any extra attempt was given to civil service aspirants since the formation of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar also asked the government how many candidates will appear for the examination if a one-time exemption is given to those who had exhausted their chances in October 2020.
“It’s just a one-time relaxation and if it has been done before, then why not this time ?” the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murai, asked Additional Solicitor S V Raju and further told him to provide the information by February 1.
The court was hearing a plea by several candidates who had appeared for their last attempt in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2020 held on October 4. They prayed for a direction to the Centre to provide them “one extra attempt…in addition to number of permissible attempts, in view of innumerable, inevitable circumstances suffered by them due to Covid-19 pandemic, which prevailed in the entire country during the crucial period of their preparation and even on the date of examination, including but not restricted to rendering services as corona warriors, Covid infection to family members, suffering trauma physical and mental, lack of minimal proper infrastructure to prepare for the examinations, loss of income making it difficult to even survive during the pandemic”.
The Centre, in an affidavit, had told the court that it was not in favour of allowing the extra chance as acceding to the request would have a cascading effect and create a ground for challenge by those who had appeared in the exams without raising any objections.
On Friday, the court said the affidavit did not disclose at what level the decision not to provide one more chance was taken and asked the government to file a fresh affidavit.
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