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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, December 03, 2012
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) to constitute an experts' committee to look into the issue of wrong questions and answer key of the preliminary examination of Haryana Civil Services (executive branch) and other allied services 2011.

The experts committee will consider representations of the candidates.

Hindustan Times in May 2012 had first highlighted the discrepancies in the question papers of HCS preliminary examination.

The HPSC had chosen to award marks for all wrong questions instead of following a more credible and transparent method of referring the matter to experts for settling the issue.

On Monday, a division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain directed the HPSC to finalise the names of the experts for each subject and submit them in a sealed cover to the court within four weeks.

The high court also directed that the experts' committee, within four weeks, would look into all representations received by the HPSC from various candidates.

The commission would declare the fresh results of HCS preliminary examinations on percentile basis as per the report of the experts' committee to be constituted subject wise.

The decision came on a petition filed by HPSC, challenging single-judge bench's order dated August 30 before the division bench.

Disposing of 21 petitions, single-judge bench of the high court in its judgment had postponed the main written examination scheduled for September 2 and had directed the commission to constitute an experts' committee to decide 151 representations received from various candidates.

However, the commission was against the constitution of an experts' committee.

During the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, advocate Vijay Kumar Jindal, representing the candidates, argued: "The commission should be directed to submit the names of experts in a sealed cover to the high court so that transparency can be maintained."

He said answer key of every examination should be made public after the examination, as there always remained a chance of questions being wrong.

As per the earlier court directions, candidates also submitted a list of subject-wise disputed questions stating that till date the commission had not been able to find out all wrong questions which were much more in number as accepted by the commission.

Sunil Dhull and Dr Ashok Kumar, who had challenged the examination process, submitted in their reply to the court that in general studies paper, 80 questions out of 100 were picked up as it is from Unique Publication 2011 edition, which speaks volumes about the examination process.

They submitted a list of 65 disputed questions in five subjects - general studies (21), public administration (11), history (17), geography (8) and chemistry (8).

The case was disposed of by the high court on Monday, with directions to the commission.

What and when
The preliminary examination was conducted on March 25 for 151 posts in which 41,366 candidates had appeared.

The result was declared on May 4 and since the unsuccessful candidates were not satisfied, they had moved the high court, challenging the conduct of the examination.

On the basis of the May 4 result, 2,409 candidates had qualified for admission to the main written examination.