SC directs UPSC to issue Admit Cards giving Relief to Candidates who faced cancellation from UPSC Mains

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On September 13, 2023 (today), the Supreme Court directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to issue admit cards to candidates who faced the cancellation of their candidature in the upcoming UPSC Mains Exam, scheduled to take place on September 15 (Friday). The matter was heard by a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court including Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra. The candidature of the 8 candidates was rejected by the UPSC whereas 2 candidates were rejected due to the non-submission of provisional certificates and the other 6 candidates were rejected because the UPSC cited certain errors in the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) certificates. 

While addressing the cancellation of the candidature of two candidates due to non-submission of provisional certificates to support their educational qualification, The bench ordered, “As far as petitioners 1 and 2 are concerned, the results of the undergraduate exam have been declared, and therefore at this stage, whether they’ll be qualified is an aspect which will require consideration subsequently. Keeping in view that the Civil Sevices Mains exam is scheduled to be held on 15.9.2023, the interest of petitioners will be affected if they are not allowed to appear for the examination. Making it subject to the final result of this petition, we direct the respondent to issue the necessary admission ticket to appear for the exam.” The same relief was given to the other six candidates.

During the court proceedings, Advocate Gaurav Agarwal and Advocate-on-Record Tanya Shree appeared for the petitioners. Advocate Agarwal submitted that “As per Rule 3 Note II of Civil Services Rules, 2023, a candidate who has appeared for the UPSC Prelims Exam, 2023, his attempt is counted, whether he qualifies for the prelims exam and has a requisite educational qualification at the time of the Mains Exam, 2023. If their candidature is canceled at this stage, they will lose out an attempt for no fault of theirs.” He contended that the rejection of the petitioners on the basis that they had not submitted educational qualification proof by the due date without considering the fact that the results were declared after DAF-I submission would be arbitrary. 

He also argued that rejecting the petitioners because there were errors in EWS certificates was arbitrary and unreasonable. Advocate further pointed out that “The example of petitioner No. 8 Shweta Tiwari where the Respondent had arbitrarily rejected her candidature on the ground that there was overwriting on the EWS certificate.” He also submitted that the authorities clarified that the error made was a fault on their side, not on the petitioner’s side stating “The Competent Authority had clarified that any such overwriting is on their part and there is no fault of Petitioner No. 8, yet the said certificate is not being considered by the respondent.” After hearing the contentions and arguments, the bench gives relief to the candidates by directing UPSC to issue their admit cards.

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