The Supreme Court on Monday disposed of the plea on behalf of 24 UPSC aspirants seeking an extra attempt in the civil service service examination in the year 2021 in light of the Centre submitting that the issue is under consideration by the appropriate authority.
A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari & Sanjiv Khanna heard ASG Mr. Aman Lekhi, who appeared on behalf of the Union of India (DoPT), stating that the matter is under consideration and the issue will be duly considered by the appropriate authority at the time when the Rules for CSE-2021 will be framed next year.
In this context, the top Court observed,
"The issue raised in the present writ petition is in consideration of the appropriate authority and in light of the observations made by this Court in order dated 30.09.2020 in Writ Petition(C) No. 1012 of 2020 [Vasi Reddy Govardhan Sai Prakash & Ors. V. UPSC & Ors.] needful is being done in the matter."
Petitioners had requested to expedite the decision.
The Bench further granted liberty to the Petitioners to approach the Hon'ble Court in case the proposed decision does not fulfil the aspirations of the Petitioners.
"We leave it to the competent authorities to assuage the grievance of the petitioners, as brought before this Court in the present Writ Petition appropriately. If the proposed decision does not fulfil the aspirations of the petitioners, it will be open to them to challenge that part of the decision".
- Supreme Court
An intervention application was also filed by a group of 15 Applicants in support of the writ petition. The Bench has disposed of the petition and the pending IAs in above terms.
The Petitioners were represented by Senior Advocate P.S. Narsimha and Advocate Atul Agarwal.
On the last date of hearing, the bench directed the petitioner(s) to serve an advance copy on UPSC & DoPT in a plea on behalf of 24 UPSC aspirants seeking an extra attempt in the civil service service examination in the year 2021.
The petition states that an extra attempt is pertinent because their preparation has been severely disrupted on account of CoVID-19 situation and also because they will become age-barred next year.
"For the present year, the petitioners preparation has been disrupted on account of Covid-19 pandemic." stated the plea in SC.
In this context, the petition has sought to quash the decision dated September 9, 2020 of the Centre whereby, according to the averments, representations put forth on behalf of the petitioners' seeking grant of a one -time age and attempt relaxation in the Civil Services Examination 2021, have not been properly considered.
"It is submitted that all petitioners have/ will have crossed the maximum age prescribed for appearing in UPSC exam by the time the dates of UPSC Exam - 2021 are notified," the plea reads.
It is averred that the problems faced by the candidates have been duly recognised by the candidates in respect of their preparation in CSE-2020 in its Notice dated July 1, 2020 and an option of opting-out for students appearing in CSE-2020 was provided to candidates in order to prevent exhaustion of their attempts.
"However, while doing so, the UPSC failed to consider the position of persons like the Petitioners who cannot withdraw/opt-out unless and until they are also provided a one-time age relaxation" - Plea In SC
It is contended that it was necessary to consider and grant the request for age-relaxation at this stage itself because depending on the relaxation give, the Petitioners would be in a position to forego their opportunity in the Civil Servies Examination of 2020.
In this backdrop, it is contended that the Respondents' failure to take any clear decision on the Petitioners' representation, the petitioners are unable to decide whether they can forego the Civil Services Exam of 2020 in order to appear with proper preparation in the Civil Services Exam of 2021.
"The Respondents have, therefore acted arbitrarily in violation of fundamental rights of the petitioners guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution," the petitioners state.
The Preliminary stage of civil service examination was conducted on Sunday 4th October, 2020.
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