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PIL against judges' exams: SC seeks reply of Delhi HC Registry

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Delhi High Court Registry on a plea alleging arbitrary evaluation of answer papers in the judicial services examinations held last year.



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Delhi High Court Registry on a plea alleging arbitrary evaluation of answer papers in the judicial services examinations held last year.

"We would issue notice, but not grant a stay," a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said while issuing notice on the PIL filed by NGO CPIL.

The bench made it clear that it would not stay the interviews for selection of judicial magistrates in Delhi which is scheduled on August 6.

However, the final result would be "subject to final outcome of this writ petition," it said and fixed the matter for hearing after five weeks.

The plea sought a direction to "quash the result of the Main Exam of the Delhi Judicial Service, 2014 declared on May 01."

Alternatively, the NGO sought re-evaluation of answer sheets of all the students who appeared in the examination by "an independent expert committee preferably headed by a retired judge of the high court".

"Issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ or direction for the constitution of an independent Judicial Service Commission for selection of the lower judicial officers," it said.

Prashant Bhushan, appearing for CPIL, said, "659 students out of 9033, who were declared successful in preliminary examination, took the main examination held on 10th and 11th October, 2014.

"The result of this Main Examination was declared on 1st May 2015, almost 8 months after the exam was held. Surprisingly, only 15 students (13 from General Category and 2 from reserved category) have been selected for the interview for total 80 vacancies in the result declared on 1st May 2015. That means a total of 98 percent of the students were failed and only 2 percent managed to pass."

The fact that only 15 students have been called for the interview against 80 vacancies becomes "remarkable" as there are at least 68 candidates, who were not selected for the interview round, are "those who have already cleared judicial examinations of other States and most of them are sitting judges in their respective states", he said.

At least six candidates, who have not been selected for the interview, are first rank holders in the judicial exams of their respective states and at least three candidates are second rank holders in their respective judicial exams, the PIL said.

"The petitioner has learnt, as per the representation by the candidates, that some of the candidates who have not been found fit for being called for the interview are the toppers and gold medalists in their respective law colleges," it said.

"Moreover, the Union Law Minister has received several complaints in this regard and had also written to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi wherein he has mentioned that there were allegations that kin of the sitting judges of the Delhi High Court have been favoured in the said exam. As per the letter of the Union Law Minister, which is in public domain, Rank 1 and rank 3 are children of sitting High Court judges," it said.

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