A fresh petition was filed in the Jammu wing of High Court seeking quashing of the notice issued by Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) on February 1, 2019—whereby method of examination for selection of Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Munsifs in Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Department has been changed.
In this connection, the Court of Justice Rashid Ali Dar held that the selection process of KCS Judicial Main-2018 examination shall remain subject to further outcome of the petition.
The petition filed by Ajit Verma along with 40 applicants, who have applied for the posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Munsiffs in Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Department, states that the abrupt change in the pattern/criteria for examination in mid of the selection process is totally against the provisions of law as also the law settled on the issue by the Supreme Court of India.
The petitioners challenged the order issued on 1st February 2019 by JKPSC on the grounds that the change in the pattern/criteria for holding mains/written examination just preceding to holding of the main/written examination made by the respondents is totally illegal, arbitrary and contrary to the provisions of law.
The petitioners submitted before the Court that they as well as various candidates who have qualified the preliminary examination came to know about the change in the pattern of examination only when they received the admit cards issued to them by the respondents.
It has been mentioned in the admit cards issued to the candidates under “important instructions” at serial number 17 that “Due to the introduction of newly designed bar-coded Question-Cum-Answer Booklet, no separate sheet (continuation sheet) shall be provided to any candidate.”
“The change in the rules of game once it has started has been held to be bad and illegal by the Supreme Court of India, therefore, the notice and ‘instruction no. 17 of important instructions’ forming part of the admit cards issued to the petitioners deserve to be quashed,” petitioners said.
Earlier on 30 May 2018, JKPSC invited applications through online mode for filling up of the 42 posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Munsiffs, along with a notification regarding scheme of examination, which reads, “Scheme of examination is strictly in accordance with the rules laid down vide SRO no.5 dated 04 January 1968 read with SRO 254 of 2017 dated 20 June 2017 as amended from time to time read with J&K Public Service Commission (Conduct of Examination) Rules, 2005.”
On 29 October 2018, JKPSC conducted preliminary examination of the candidates, who had applied for the said posts. The result of the said examination was declared on 17 November 2018 in which 793 candidates have been shortlisted for mains examination. Later, the date sheet for mains examination to be conducted by the JKPSC for selection of suitable candidates for the posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Munsiffs, was issued on 29 December 2018.
However, in the middle of the process, JKPSC on February 1, 2019 issued notice whereby it was decided that the Question paper-cum Answer books shall as far as practicable be used henceforth for the competitive examinations conducted by the Commission and the said notice has been applied to the written examination for the posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Munsiffs in Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs department.
Aggrieved of the decision, the petitioners on Monday this week approached Court to seek quashing of the notice and postponement of the examination which will commence from 23rd of March 2019.
The petitioners have prayed that the respondents be directed to conduct the written examination of candidates for their selection to the said posts as per the scheme of examination laid down in SRO 5 of 1968 dated 04 January, 1968 read with SRO 254 of 2017 dated 20 June 2017 as amended from time to time read with J&KPSC (Conduct of Examination) Rules, 2005 as has been notified in notification no. PSC/Exam/2018/39 dated 30 May 2018.
After going through the petition, Justice Rashid Ali Dar directed JKPSC through its Secretary, Chairman and Controller of Examination of JKPSC, Jammu, to file objections by next date of hearing.
JKPSC was also directed to file a detailed response by 29 March 2019 and to keep ready the relevant record for production before the Court.
Justice Dar directed that the Kashmir Civil Service (KCS) Judicial Mains-2018 examination shall remain subject to further outcome of the petition.
“If need for examination of the same is felt in future which may include the answer books of successful candidates of previous examination held by Commission, of course, if same is deemed expedient for considering the contentions raised in the petition and at the bar, that tailor made answer books would not serve the purpose intended to be achieved,” he said.
Meanwhile, the aspirants on Thursday told Rising Kashmir that they demand postponement of main examinations which will commence from 23rd March as according to them it will neither benefit the candidates nor the Commission.
“We don’t know why JKPSC is adamant to postpone our examination. They should first clear the case so that exams can be conducted smoothly. The exams will be quashed after outcome of the case so what will be the fun of conducting exams,” they said.
They said that JKPSC is holed up in many cases at Supreme Court and High Court which is a matter of great concern for the aspirants who have applied for various posts through JKPSC.
Pertinently, JKPSC is dragged to HC and SC for the faulty digital evaluation in the recent KAS exams which was against the rule of law.