SC to listen to plea for additional likelihood to aspirants who missed UPSC examination as a result of COVID-19


New Delhi, January 24

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a plea seeking grant of one more chance to appear in the UPSC’s civil services examination to those aspirants who could not appear in their previous attempt last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

The crucial hearing assumes significance in the wake of the Centre’s assertion last Friday that it was not in favour of granting one more opportunity to the civil services aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt in 2020.

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar had taken note of the submissions of Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing on behalf of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on January 22 and had asked the government to file an affidavit to this effect.

“We are not ready to give one more chance. Give me the time to file an affidavit… yesterday night, I received instruction that we are not agreeable,” the law officer had told the bench.

The bench, which also comprised Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murai, had asked the law officer to supply the copy of the affidavit to the counsel of civil services aspirant Rachna who had moved the court with the plea for grant of extra chance to crack the test.

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the bench that the government was considering the issue of granting one more opportunity to those civil services aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt to crack the UPSC exam.

On September 30 last year, the top court had refused to postpone the UPSC civil services preliminary exam, which was held on October 4, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.

However, it had directed the Central Government and the Union Public Service Commission to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who otherwise have their last attempt in 2020, with the corresponding extension of the upper age-limit.

The bench was then told that a formal decision can be taken by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) only. PTI



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