Supreme Court refuses to cancel results of 2017 Staff Selection Commission exam
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Supreme Court refuses to cancel results of 2017 Staff Selection Commission exam

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court last week refused to cancel the results of the Staff Selection Commission, Combined Graduate Level Exam II, 2017, which was allegedly tainted by malpractice.

The 2017 exam, which is conducted to recruit staff to various posts in ministries, departments and organisations of the Government of India, was attempted by around 1.5 lakh candidates.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant on March 5 refused to scrap the results of the 2017 exam, given that the committee set up to look into the alleged scam has been unable to record a "conclusive finding" pertaining to the commission of large scale malpractice.

The committee found that in the absence of any concrete material to establish that there was large scale malpractice or leakage of papers, it would be unjustified to scrap the results of the entire exam.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, contested the findings of the committee's report, placing reliance on the report of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI report stated that the papers are leaked by the custodians of the papers themselves. Bhushan also cited the CBI report to submit that there was a large scale leak, and that unfair means of practice were adopted by allowing students to obtain remote access from their computers in the examination centres.

The Court, however, opined that the committee would have considered the findings of the CBI as well, even though its report does not delve deep into the CBI report. The Court observed,

"There is no doubt that this report was also placed before the Committee and the Committee does not specifically deal with the details pointed out by the CBI. We have, however, no doubt that the Committee duly considered the various aspects before recording the above conclusion."

The report submitted by the committee, in addition to dealing with the allegations of malpractice, also made recommendations for steps to reform the exam. In this aspect, the Court said that the recommendations made by this committee should be implemented forthwith.

The Centre was represented by Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni.

[Read the Order]

Shantanu Kumar vs UOI - 05.03.2020.pdf
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