State High Court Friday reserved its decision of Kashmir Administration Service (KAS) Examination 2016.
The division bench of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar reserved the judgment after hearing both the counsels.
The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) had challenged the single bench judgment before the division bench.
On December 30 2017, the single bench headed by Justice MK Hanjura directed JKPSC to conduct the examination of 429 candidates who couldn’t figure in the revised merit list declared by the commission.
After hearing the counsel representing JKPSC, Azhar-ul-Amin and counsel representing expelled candidates, Zaffar Shah, the court directed JKPSC to get all the examination record of KAS-2016 before court by 26 February. While defense counsel Zaffar Shah was asked to produce all the judgments supporting his case.
Advocate Zaffar Shah said the commission had no authority to revise the answer keys as they didn't disclose the answer key to the candidates.
“The mess could have been avoided if answer keys could have disclosed to the candidate. In case the commission had found any differences over question paper or answer keys, they must have sought judicial order on the issue,” Advocate Shah said.
He submitted before the court that the commission has sought revision of answer keys and question papers four times with different experts each time who would have different opinion and which affected the candidates’ merit.
Whereas advocate Azhar-ul-Amin stressed that in case PSC allows these 429 candidates, then 2300 more candidates are to be allowed.
“If we allow 429 candidates, the cut off merit will decrease to 260.892 marks. Then JKPSC has to take all the candidates who have secured marks above 260 and the number of these candidates is about 2300,” he said.
He further said that the single bench judgment was based on sympathy rather than rule and law.
“We are meeting a peculiar situation created by peculiar set of things,” the bench observed.
The bench asked Advocate Azhar that why the key was not made public to candidate?
Advocate Azhar said, “The candidate can seek the answer sheet through filing RTI application and candidates have been doing so.”
The court was also informed that out of 429 expelled candidates, some of the candidates are appearing in mains exams because of the previous judgment.
The PSC vide notification no. PSC/EXM/2016/52 dated 18-06-2016 advertised 277 posts in Junior Scale of J&K Administrative Service, J&K Police (Gazetted) Service and J&K Accounts (Gazetted) Service and applications were invited for admission to the KAS (Preliminary) Examination.
Following the preliminary examination, the PSC vide the Notification No. PSC/Exam/2017/22 dated 23.04.2017 declared 6925 out of 47000 candidates to have qualified for KAS Mains Examination. The cut-off mark was declared as 270.477 out of aggregate of 450 marks.
6925 candidates were selected for the KAS mains exam at a cut off of 270.477 while the cut off merit was revised to 277.275, 429 candidates who had figured in the list did not figure in the revised list.