Stay order on CSE-2016: JKPSC files application seeking early hearing

After the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday stayed a result notification issued by J&K Public Service Commission (JKPSC) declaring preliminary results of Combined Service Examination-2016, the commission Thursday filed an application for an early hearing to vacate the stay order.

“We have requested the court for an early hearing so that we can apply for the getting the stay order vacated in the court,” said Rouf Ahmad Khan, Law officer of J&K Public Service Commission.

The commission, on August 9, issued the revised result notification following the controversy over wrong answer keys shown against 24 questions in the prelims test. It had dropped 429 out of 6925 candidates who were declared qualified earlier, citing they did not make to the revised cut-off merit of 277.275 marks after applying revised answer keys.

“The application form, if any, filed by 429 candidates, who could not make it to the revised cutoff merit of 277.275, for appearing in Combined Services Competitive (Main) Examination 2016 shall deemed to have been rejected being ineligible and their examination fee shall be refunded,” the notification said.

Hearing a petition by the candidates who were dropped in the fresh list, a single bench comprising Justice M K Hanjura yesterday issued a notice to the JKPSC, calling for its response to the contention raised in the plea within four weeks.

“In the meantime, subject to the objections and till next date before the Bench, the operation of the impugned notification (No. PSC/exams/2017/44) dated 09.08.2017 is stayed,” the court said on Wednesday.

The candidates through their counsel Advocate Arif Skinder Mir pleaded that issuing of a fresh selection list after re-evaluation of their answer sheets was in complete violation of rules enunciated in J&K (Conduct of Examination) Rules and J&K Combined Competitive Exam Rules 2008.

The counsel argued that the said rules prohibit re-evaluation of answer scripts of the candidates who have appeared in J&K Combined Competitive  preliminary Examination. 

The counsel representing the petitioners—Hidayat Ahmad Mir and others said that that the Commission has gone against the Supreme Court guidelines on the subject.

The JKPSC had issued the fresh prelims list after the aggrieved candidates filed an RTI on March 24, seeking the key, Xerox copy of OMR sheets and total score obtained.

During inspection of OMR sheets, the answer keys of general studies and political science were exhibited without authority and against rule, the notification reads.

Earlier, after a massive controversy over errors in the answer keys of the Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS) preliminary exam, the JKPSC withdrew the notification for the Mains examination on June 14.

The commission has also decided to evaluate the answer keys of all 23 subjects from experts. Mufti Tasaduq Hussain, who looks after the chief minister’s grievance cell had also sent a missive to the JKPSC Chairman, requesting withdrawal of the announced results in light of huge discrepancies in the preliminary test brought to his notice by aspiring candidates.

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