Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 22
The Centre told the Supreme Court on Friday that it was against giving an extra chance to civil services aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt in the examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) last year during COVID19 pandemic.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju told a Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar on behalf of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that the government was not ready to give one more chance to candidates who could not appear in the 2020 civil services exam due to the situation created by the pandemic.
“We are not ready to give one more chance. Give me the time to file an affidavit,” Raju told the Bench which asked the Centre to file an affidavit to this effect and posted it for hearing on January 25.
The petitioners have sought an extra attempt for candidates who exhausted their last attempt in October 2020 Prelims or those who couldn’t appear in the examination due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Centre had on December 18 told the told court that it was discussing with the UPSC the issue of granting another chance to civil services aspirants, especially those who exhausted their last attempt in October 2020 Prelims during COVID19 pandemic.
“It’s under active consideration of the Centre and UPSC. We are not taking an adversarial stand,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the court.
On behalf of the petitioners, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi had said the court should direct the Centre to grant an extra chance to students considering the difficulties on account of COVID-19.
On September 30, the top court had asked the Centre and the UPSC to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who otherwise had their last attempt in 2020, with a corresponding extension in the upper age-limit. The DoPT had on October 26 informed the court that the issue was under the consideration of the authorities concerned.