Jharkhand High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: S.N. Pathak, J., rejected the petition filed by a civil services candidate, who was declared unsuccessful in prelims examination due to darkening wrong last digit of roll number in OMR sheet. The Bench stated,

“May be the petitioner has not intentionally darkened digit 6 instead of 8, but sympathy has no place in the eyes of law. The law will prevail in view of the terms and conditions as mentioned in the Advertisement, Admit Card and that of the Rules framed by the JPSC.”

The petitioner had approached the Court with the grievance that though she had obtained 240 marks in the Preliminary Test in Jharkhand Combined Civil Services Competitive Examination, 2021, whereas the cut off marks obtained by the last selected candidate in Scheduled Tribes category was 230, she was not allowed to appear in the Mains Examination to be conducted by the respondent-Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC). The petitioner contented that if no interference is made by the Court her career would be spoiled.

On the contrary, the JPSC submitted that the petitioner had tried to make out a case which had no legs to stand as OMR Answer Sheet of General Studies Paper-II of the petitioner was rejected by the OMR Scanning Machine due to wrong darkening/shadowing of Roll Number filled up by the petitioner herself and it was fault on part of the petitioner in not adhering to the guidelines/ instructions in the Advertisement and Admit Card.

After perusal of the Admit Card of the petitioner and OMR sheet of the examination, the Bench observed that in the place of last digit of roll number i.e. 8, the petitioner had wrongly circled in the OMR sheet the digit 6. Further, Clause 4 of the advertisement clearly stipulates:

 “4. OMR (Optical mark recognition) answer sheet will be processed electronically. As such invalidation of answer sheet due to incomplete / incorrect filling / darkening of the bubbles on OMR sheet, will be the sole responsibility of the candidate. OMR Scanning machine will reject OMR sheet in which Roll No and Booklet series are not properly and correctly (in word or number or both as required) darkened or fillup in OMR sheet.”

Admittedly the petitioner had wrongly darkened the last digit of her roll number, which was fault on her part and as per instruction in the Admit Card, such mistakes on part of the candidate, cannot be rectified by the Commission and according to the arguments advanced by the JPSC, such correction would lead to manipulation in the OMR Sheet.

Thus, it is evident that the conditions/instructions mentioned in clause-4 of the Admit Card had not been fulfilled by the petitioner herself and as such, case of the petitioner had rightly been rejected by the Commission for appearing in Mains Examination.

Further, as per the record the petitioner had obtained 140 marks only in totality whereas the marks obtained by the last selected candidate under the Scheduled Tribes category was 230. Thus, plea raised by the petitioner was rejected on this score also. The Bench stated,

“Petitioner cannot take the plea to add marks of second paper of General Studies which could not be evaluated or scanned by the OMR machine due to mistake or laches on part of the petitioner herself by darkening wrong roll number.”

Hence, opining that direction to correct the error would amount to manipulation in the OMR Sheet, the Bench stated that a candidate is supposed to follow the instructions and such mistakes are not expected by the aspirants appearing in the State Civil Service Examination. Accordingly, the instant petition was dismissed. [Aditya Isha Prachi Tirkey v. Jharkhand Public Service Commission, 2022 SCC OnLine Jhar 28, decided on 18-01-2022]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance by:

For the Petitioner: Rajeeva Sharma, Sr. Advocate along with Aishwarya Prakash, Advocate

For the Respondents: Sanjay Piprawall, Advocate

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Meghalaya High Court: H.S. Thangkhiew, J. until further orders put the notification dated 16-08-2019 for recruitment to the post of civil services on suspension.

Meghalaya Civil Services examinations (Preliminary) were conducted but d preliminary examination result was declared in contravention of the advertisement and plan of examination notified. Thereafter, a notice was issued stating that the Main examination for the Meghalaya CSE would be held in January 2020 and the dates for the same would be notified later. Since the result for prelims was not declared in accordance with the advertisement, the instant writ petition was filed.

Learned counsel P. Yobin on the behalf of applicant submitted that the scheme and subject of the examination was to compose of 2 compulsory papers, 200 marks each wherein the 1st paper will be considered for merit and the 2nd will be considered for qualifying only but Meghalaya Public service Commission considered both the papers for merit and to support this he quoted the scheme in Main Examination and pleaded that different procedures cannot be adopted for prelims and main papers.

Learned counsel K. Paul, for the respondent submitted that the writ petition is not maintainable because writ petitioners have participated themselves in the selection process, therefore, they cannot challenge it after being unsuccessful and relied upon the case Ramesh Chandra Shah v. Anil Joshi, (2013) 11 SCC 309. He further stated that the procedure for the calculation of cut-off marks were in accordance with the meeting dated 25-06-2019.

The Court opined that as per the scheme and format provided in Main Examination, the qualifying examination cannot be considered for ranking whereas in the prelim paper, GS paper though qualifying paper was considered for merit by the respondent. It was observed that though the process of prelim result declaration was projected by the counsel for respondent to be reasonable and in pursuance to plan of examination, a perusal of proceedings of meeting dated 25- 06-2018 wherein conduct of Preliminary examination was discussed revealed that the decision for result declaration was taken independently in the meeting without taking advertisement into consideration.

The Court, thus, until further orders put the impugned notification dated 16-08-1-2019 regarding general information for recruitment to the post of civil services on suspension. [Dahunshisha Rynjah v. Meghalaya Public Service Commission, 2019 SCC OnLine Megh 320, decided on 04-12-2019].

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: A Division Bench of Narendra Singh Dhaddha and Mohammad Rafiq, JJ. disposed of a writ petition seeking to correct a bonafide error in an order passed by the present Court.

The present case relates to several writ petitions filed by the petitioners claiming for clarifying/modifying a typographical error present in the operative part of a judgment dated 18-07-2019.

Counsel for the petitioners, Mukesh Kumar Meena submitted that the present court while placing reliance on the Supreme Court judgment Pallav Mongia v. Delhi High Court erred in its own direction by stating that only the candidates who have secured more marks than the last candidate originally permitted to appear in the main examination should be allowed to appear in the main examination whereas, the Supreme Court had provided that also the candidates who have secured equal marks shall be permitted to take the mains examination along with candidates securing higher marks.

Senior Advocate A.K. Sharma submitted that the High Court made a bona fide mistake while relying on the aforementioned judgment and omitted the word “equal” inadvertently in its operative part.

The present Bench upon perusal of the order passed dated 18-07-2019, acknowledged the inadvertent mistake committed in the stated order and modified it by including the word equal in the paragraph. The operative part stands modified thus:

“In view of the discussion made above, present writ petitions deserve to partly succeed, only to the extent of Question A/66, B/62, C/55, D/66, with direction to the respondents to delete that question from the question paper booklet and keeping in view the ratio of judgment of the Supreme Court in Pallav Mongia v. Registrar General, Delhi High Court, supra, recompute the marks so as to prepare fresh list of eligible candidates, by including all such candidates therein, who secure equal or more marks than the last candidate, in respective categories, originally allowed to appear in the main examination and apart from originally allowed candidates, also permit the candidates newly included in the eligibility list, to appear in the main examination, for recruitment to Civil Judge Cadre, subject to their securing minimum qualifying marks, on reduced number of questions, as per stipulation in Clause 7 of the advertisement dated 15-11-2018 or as per the Rajasthan Judicial Services Rules, 2010.” [Hemank Vaishnav v. Rajasthan High Court, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 1872, decided on 30-07-2019]