‘Government information obtained that it is not appropriate,’ submitted Additional-Solicitor General SV Raju to the Supreme Court on Friday in a plea requesting an additional opportunity for civil service aspirants to give UPSC examinations because of the difficulties that could have emerged because of the public service test. Pandemic COVID-19.
A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar chaired the case and ordered the ASG by Monday, 25 January, to file an Affidavit recording the request.
“Last night, I received information from the government that they are not agreeable. I would want to put this on the Affidavit in a week” the ASG said.
The Bench asked about the final date for submissions for this. The ASG then submitted that, by Monday, it would file an Affidavit. On the coming Monday, the matter is now mentioned, with the Centre being directed to serve the other Councils with the Affidavit.
The submission by the ASG comes as a deviation from the previous submission that the issue was ‘successfully discussed’ by the Central Government and the Public Services Commission of the Union.
The ASG had requested time at the previous hearing, as the Centre had previously claimed that the matter was ‘fully considered’ by the Central Government and the Public Services Committee of the Union.
The Court had told the Councils that the case should not occur under any conditions when the last date of completion of the forms is due. While the ASG should have time until the first week of February, the Bench said he should get guidance quickly.
On 18 December 2020, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta submitted that the Centre was not taking an “adversarial stand” with respect to the petition for increased opportunity and that it was likely to take a decision within three or four weeks in that regard. To give extra incentive, he said, the laws could need to be updated.
On 30 September, the Supreme Court asked the Central Government and the Civil Service Commission of the Union to consider giving the Commission an additional opportunity to do so. Applicants who have otherwise made their final attempt in 2020, with a subsequent upper age-limit extension.
In the case of Vasireddy Govardhana Sai Prakash v UPSC, a bench headed by Justice Khanwilkar issued the guidance while refusing the petitioners’ appeal to postpone the UPSC examinations scheduled for October 2020 in view of the COVID19 pandemic.
The Court ordered the authority to ‘expeditiously’ take a decision in that respect.
In the Court’s order, the appropriate findings are as follows:
The fourth point posed before us is that some of the candidates may give the last attempt and may then become age-barred for the next test, and it will cause considerable discrimination to them if those candidates are unable to appear in the examination due to the pandemic condition of Covid-19.
In this regard, we were impressed by Mr. S.V. Raju, a learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to discuss the possibility of supplying those applicants with a corresponding age limit extension for another attempt. He agreed to express the Co’s feelings.
The Department of Personnel and Training told the Supreme Court on 26 October that the issue of providing an extra attempt to last chance applicants were under the authority’s consideration.
On the grounds of that submission, another petition (Abhishek Anand Sinha v Union of India) was rejected by the Bench, headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, noting that it was not necessary for the Court to issue orders while the case was under consideration by the authorities concerned.
The query posed in this Written Petition is to be considered by the competent authority and in the light of the observations rendered by that Court. It is important to do this to be dated 30.09.2020 in Written Petition(C) No. 1012 of 2020. As a result, it will not be sufficient to precipitate the case further. We leave it to the competent authority to mitigate the petitioners’ grievance, as placed before this Court in the preliminary paragraph. Writ Petition submitted accordingly,’ the Bench noted in the order.
The present petition is lodged as a continuation of the above-mentioned litigation demanding an alternative opportunity for civil service applicants to be paid.