Srinagar, March 13: The J&K High Court today cancelled the main examination of Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) and ordered Jammu and Kashmir Public Service to hold the main examination afresh.
A division bench of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar also directed the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission to permit all the candidates who have been shortlisted to participate in the preliminary examination on the basis of their merit determined upon re-evaluation,
The court also directed that JKPSC to allow 429 candidates to participate who were shortlisted in the first result of the preliminary examination but could not make it to participate in the main examination on the basis of their merit determined in the process of re-evaluation.
“Since the examination in question has been delayed due to litigation, we hope and trust that the appellant would take immediate steps to hold the main examination and complete the whole process culminating into the declaration of the result without any further wastage of time,” the court said according to news agency GNS.
The division bench passed the order on an appeal filed by the JKPSC on court’s single bench judgment in which JKPSC was directed to permit 429 candidates who the Commission had debarred from appearing in the KAS mains exam 2016 after revising the answer key of the preliminary test.
“The candidates figuring in the first list issued by the Commission vide notification No. PSC/Exam/2017/22 dated 23rd of April, 2017, as also the candidates figuring in the revised list issued vide notification No. PSC/Exam/2017/44 dated 9th of August, 2017, shall be entitled and allowed to sit and participate in the main examination,” the single bench of the court had said in the judgment.
Pointing out that a “mess appears” to have been created in the conduct of the examination by the Commission and public interest has been put at jeopardy, the court had said the JKPSC was the premier recruiting agency of the State and it cannot tamper with the career of thousands of aspirants who burn midnight oil for making a livelihood”.
The court had held that the JKPSC has an onerous responsibility to exert and exercise the highest degree of care and caution in handling the examinations and to maintain transparency so that the candidates’ repose trust and confidence in the institution.
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 an aggregate of 450 marks.
However, after considering representations of candidates on wrong answer key, the Commission issued a revised list with cut off merit 277.275 as a result of which 429 candidates who were figuring in the un-revised list were excluded. (GNS)