Monday, August 15, 2011

‘Before interim order, make sure if students can take exam'

The Supreme Court has cautioned High Courts against passing interim orders and allowing a student to write an examination without ascertaining whether the candidate has a right to do so. A Bench of Justices Mukundakam Sharma and Anil R. Dave said: “We find that very often courts are becoming sympathetic to the students and, by interim orders, authorities are directed to permit the students to take an examination without ascertaining whether the candidate concerned had a right to take the examination.”

The Bench said: “For any special reason in an exceptional case, if such a direction is given, the court must dispose of the case finally on its merits before the declaration of the result. Grant of such interim orders should be avoided as they not only increase the work of the institution which conducts the examination but also give a false hope to the candidates approaching court.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Dave said: “This court has observed time and again that an interim order should not be of such a nature by virtue of which a petition or application, as the case may be, is finally allowed or granted even at an interim state. We reiterate that normally at an interlocutory stage no such relief should be granted by virtue of which the final relief which is asked for and is available at the disposal of the matter is granted.”

In the instant case, S. Krishna Chaitanya was permitted by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad Bench, to sit for the preliminary Civil Services Examination, 2010, when he complained that he did not receive the admit card. The CAT further directed the Union Public Service Commission to declare his results and if he was found successful to permit him to take the main examination and the subsequent interview. As the Andhra Pradesh High Court did not interfere with the CAT order, the UPSC filed the present appeal.

The UPSC said the respondent's application was not at all received and only on the CAT's direction did he submit a fresh one. It said the declaration of his result would be absolutely unjust and would set a bad precedent.

Allowing the appeal and quashing the impugned order, the Supreme Court said: “As the case involves the career of a young man, who can turn out to be a good civil servant, we had very meticulously gone through the record maintained by the UPSC.” The system being followed was very comprehensive and flawless.

“It is very clear that had the application form of the respondent been received by the UPSC in the manner provided, it would have been recorded somewhere. Even the eight-digit number of his application form has not been recorded anywhere. On a perusal of the record and looking at the facts of the case, we come to the conclusion that no proof could be submitted by the respondent that the application form was received by the UPSC.”

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