Saturday, August 23, 2014

SC refuses to defer civil services prelims exam

The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to defer the civil services preliminary examination on Sunday and dismissed an eleventh hour petition claiming that agitating students, who succeeded in forcing the UPSC not to count English comprehension test marks, needed time for preparation.

A bench of Justices J S Khehar and Arun Mishra made a rare sitting on Saturday, a court holiday, to hear candidate Angesh Kumar, who wanted the examination to be deferred by two months claiming that the agitating students lost valuable time for preparation.

In response to protests and agitations, the government a week back had announced that English comprehension marks would not be counted in Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).

After giving a patient hearing, the bench said: "The defect that you point out has already been remedied. There are no marks for English comprehension. What is the good reason to postpone the exam?"

The bench almost chided the candidate seeking postponement of the examination. "Nine lakh students are ready to give the examination. Only one student is not ready. They must have attended coaching classes as it is the same syllabus. If syllabus was changed we could have understood," it said.

The petitioner's advocate Ravindra S Garia argued that lakhs of candidates stood behind the petitioner in hope that the court will pass an order. "For most candidates, it will be the final attempt to appear in CSAT. And much time was lost in staging agitation and in seeking a response from Government," he said and requested the court to at least seek the Centre's response.

But, the bench refused. "The problem is you don't want merit to be assessed. You want it assessed your way," it said.

The court said these policy decisions were taken by the government after receiving recommendations from expert bodies and suggestions from various departments.

"Even in appointment of judges, there are debates and debates. Finally somebody has to decide and it has to be binding," the bench said.

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