Published: 28th January 2021
SC asks Centre for level at which decision was taken to not give extra chance to civil service aspirants affected by COVID-19
Earlier, the Court was informed that the proposal to give extra change to civil service aspirants affected by the COVID-19 is under active consideration by the government and UPSC
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Centre to clarify at what level the decision was taken by the government regarding not giving extra chance to civil service aspirants affected by COVID-19. A Bench headed by Justice Khanwilkar expressed displeasure that the affidavit has no information as to at what level the decision was taken and was also not pleased that the affidavit was signed by an Under-Secretary.
The Bench asked Additional Solicitor General SV Raju that it had seen the affidavit of government and would have preferred it to be filed by a higher official of the government. "Affidavit says nothing about at whose level this decision has been taken. It should have been taken at the highest level. It is a policy decision and a one-time exemption. It's a routine affidavit. Is this the way to do it? You (ASG) should present something that is presentable. File this properly", the Bench while posting the matter for hearing tomorrow.
Senior advocate, CU Singh, appearing for aspirants, told the Bench that "no clarity had been given on this issue by the government. So, those who had not been able to prepare due to the circumstances, were forced to give it". The Centre has told the top court that no extra attempt for UPSC will be given to students who had their last attempt in October and those who could not appear due to COVID-19.
Earlier, the Court was informed that the proposal to give extra change to civil service aspirants affected by the COVID-19 is under active consideration by the government and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Bench was hearing a petition seeking an extra attempt in the UPSC exams for those candidates who had their last attempt in the preliminary exam held in October 2020. It also sought an extra opportunity to students who could not appear for civil service exams due to COVID-19.
Petitioner had earlier submitted that the Court has directed the Centre to consider grant of an extra chance considering the difficulties of COVID-19. On September 30, the Supreme Court had directed the Central government and the UPSC to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who otherwise have their last attempt in 2020, with the corresponding extension of the upper age-limit. The Department of Personnel and Training on October 26 had informed the Supreme Court that the issue regarding grant of extra attempt to last chance candidates was under the consideration of the authorities.