KAS 2016: HC Reserves Verdict On Plea Against PSC Selections


SRINAGAR — More than two months after Supreme Court asked it to decide the matter on merits and barred J&KPSC from declaring the result till then, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday reserved its verdict on KAS examination 2016.

A division bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Tashi Rabstab passed the orders after hearing amicus curie besides counsel for opposite parties. It also took on record Supplementary Affidavit by the J&KPSC and allowed parties who intend to submit the written submissions do so during the course of the week. “The Public Service Commission shall also submit the relevant records during the course of this week before the Bench Secretary of this Court,” the division bench said.

On May 3, the Supreme Court directed that J&KPSC not to declare result of KAS examination 2016 and had asked the High Court to decide the case on merits. 

 “Our Order dated 21.01.2019 passed in S.L.P.(C) No. 1493/2019 leaves no room for any ambiguity or doubt that though the selection process can be finalised no appointment will be made. What would require to be made clear is that if appointments are not permissible to be made, the declaration of the results would be a futile exercise and may give cause to unnecessary third party rights which we must avoid,” a division bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta had said. Accordingly, the bench had said, the result of the selection process shall not be declared.

 “We also make it clear that the High Court is free to decide the pending Public Interest Litigation and all connected cases both on maintainability and merits,” the top court had said.

The examination was held from July 2 to August 8 last year. 6427 candidates had appeared in the examination and 963 of them qualified for personality test and viva-voice.

The high court had deferred consideration of the matter till clarification was sought either by Public Service Commission or by any aggrieved party from the Supreme Court as to whether in view of the pendency of Special Leave Petition, “this court can proceed to deal with the preliminary objection regarding maintainability of PIL.” 

The PIL had commenced on 21 December last year on the representation of 83 applicants, alleging irregularities on account of alleged data corruption and huge human error in the digital marking adopted for evaluation of answer scripts in the Combined Competitive Examination held by the J&KPSC on the same day (December 21. While high court had stayed further selection process, the J&KPSC approached the Supreme Court and on January 21, the Apex Court allowed the premier recruiting agency for gazetted posts to carry out further selection process but barred it from making the appointment.

In compliance to the high court’s notice, the J&KPSC filed a detailed reply seeking to meet the points raised by the aggrieved persons who had filed the representation before it on 17 December last year but has also took preliminary objections to the maintainability of the PIL, citing certain judgments of the Apex Court and various High Courts to the effect that public interest litigation cannot be entertained in service matters.

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