SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday asked for entire official records of KAS Preliminary Examination 2016.
The court of justice M K Hanjura directed the state counsel representing Public Service Commission (PSC) to submit the records so that a better view of the case can be sought.
Advocate Azhar-ul-Amin representing PSC argued before court that neither re-evaluation nor rechecking took place, only the answer key was corrected, after ambiguity was found that some questions were given wrong answers and subject experts within and outside J&K were taken on board.
He further argued that PSC has the right to correct answer key at any point of time. “Those candidates who had given right answers based on their knowledge were awarded but how can we benefit a student who has given wrong answer?” Azhar-ul-Amin said in court.
“It is an admitted fact that after revised answer key was applied, candidates who were declared qualified earlier couldn’t make it to the revised list. How can we reward a student for wrong answer?”
He also admitted in the court that under pressure, some of the answer keys were shown to students despite a strict rule in place that answer keys cannot be shown under any circumstances. He also said that paucity of staff and over a thousand exams taking place in the commission, the staff strength needs to be looked at.
The court has already disposed one of the petitions pertaining to the conduct of KAS Examination in October this year, wherein the court had directed PSC to consider representation of the aggrieved candidates. But the commission notified the main examination for KAS-2016 without making any decision on the representation of the candidates.
The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC), on August 9, issued a notification following the controversy over wrong answer keys shown against 24 questions in the preliminary examination to Kashmir Administrative Service. It declared 429 out of 6925 qualified candidates as unqualified, citing that the candidates could not make the revised cut-off merit of 277.275 marks after applying revised answer keys. The High Court had stayed the notification by J&KPSC regarding the new list of candidates.
Advocate Arif Sikander Mir, counsel representing the aggrieved candidates, said, “It was against Supreme Court guidelines that the KAS aspirants who were in the first list were dropped from the second list. Earlier, the cut off was 270.77 marks, and after revaluation, they have decided to take the cut-off to 277.275 marks. As such, all the candidates who have secured between 270 and 277 marks are out. As per Supreme Court guidelines, they cannot fix new cut-off.”