Allahabad HC sets aside single judge order on merit list for OBC candidates

The Allahabad High Court has set aside a single judge's order whereby Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment and Promotion Board had been directed to prepare a merit list of OBC candidates who had appeared in written examinations for posts of constables by extending "benefit of 7.50 marks admissible against six wrong questions" in question paper.

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has set aside a single judge's order whereby Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment and Promotion Board had been directed to prepare a merit list of OBC candidates who had appeared in written examinations for posts of constables by extending "benefit of 7.50 marks admissible against six wrong questions" in question paper.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MK Gupta, passed the order on May 6 while allowing a special appeal of the state government against the single judge's order dated December 23, 2014.

The order was passed on the petition of a candidate belonging to OBC category for which 9450 posts were reserved.

The petitioner had challenged the results of examinations which were declared on May 17, 2010.

It was brought to the notice of the court that the question paper, wherein 1.25 marks were to allotted for every correct answer, there were "six wrong questions in all".

As a remedial measure, the Police Recruitment and Promotion Board had notified that it would apply the formula - "correct answers multiplied by the total marks of the paper divided by the number of correct questions".

The single judge passed the order observing "the Board should have either ignored the wrong questions altogether or should have awarded equal marks to all candidates in respect of the wrong questions, so that the rules of the game would stand unchanged during the process of recruitment".

?However, the division bench was of the view that "the task of the court is to deduce as to whether the authority has applied a standard which is extraneous or one which no reasonable person would adopt.

As we have noted, the standard was applied uniformly and was based on an objective foundation".

"Aberrations cannot be the basis of deciding upon

legality of the decision-making process or the decision of an administrative authority. That cannot be the parameter for the application of judicial review", the division bench remarked.

The bench also emphasized that the single judge's direction of preparing "a fresh merit list only for OBC candidates" was "impermissible because a different standard of assessment would apply to one category as distinct from another. The standard of assessment has to be uniform".

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