Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Friday reserved the judgement on KAS exam row about the fate of 429 candidates who were dropped from the revised list for mains examinations.
The JKPSC has challenged the single bench judgement passed in favor of ousted candidates, while the division bench has, for now, allowed to sit them in the main examinations.
On December 30 a single bench had directed the JKPSC to permit the 429 candidates who the commission had debarred from appearing in the KAS mains exam 2016 after revising the answer key of the preliminary test.
The commission has challenged the single bench order.
The court directed JKPSC counsel Azhar-ul-Amin to produce the entire record of the examination in the court by February 26 while petitioner counsel Zaffar Shah was directed to produce all the judgements in favor of his case before court.
The counsels concluded their arguments Friday before special division bench of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar.
Petitioner counsel Zaffar Shah stated that the present controversy would have been avoided if PSC had disclosed the answer key to the candidates.
He said the commission had no jurisdiction to revise answer key as they didn’t disclose the answer key to the candidates.
“In case they (commission) had found any discrepancies on part of question paper or answer key, they must have sought judicial order on the issue,” Shah said.
He added that the commission has sought revision of answer keys four times in the case and admittedly they have referred answer keys and question papers to four different set of experts who have different opinions and affecting the candidates merit.
Concluding his remarks he said that the “fairness of the selection process has to be taken into consideration wherein a candidate is shown qualified in one list and non-qualified in another list.”
JKPSC counsel Azhar-ul-Amin stressed that if PSC allows these 429 candidates, then they have to allow 2300 more candidates.
“If we allow 429 candidates, the cut off merit will reduce to 260.892 marks and the commission has to take all the candidates who have secured marks above 260 and the number of these candidates is about 2300,” he said adding that down the line these candidates can go to court to seek justice.
On this Shah questioned how the candidates can have an objection when they had not figured in any of the list.
“They were never in but the present candidates have every right to be part of entire selection process as they were figuring in the list and more so they had been asked to file applications for their Mains exam.”
Observing that it was a peculiar situation created by peculiar set of circumstances, the court asked the asked state counsel that if the PSC has revealed the answer key after it the exam.
“What would happen if the candidates would not have approached PSC for revealing the answer key? The entire exam was bound to be quashed if the selection was made on the basis of wrong key,” the court said.
Vide its first notification; the PSC had shortlisted 6925 candidates for the KAS mains exam at a cut off of 270.477 while the cut off merit came to 277.275 after it reframed the list by revising the answer key.
After reframing it, 429 candidates who had figured in the first list did not figure in the revised list.