A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court, while accepting the plea that challenges the single bench order of allowing a bunch of petitions, seeking subject-wise calculation of qualifying marks in the Punjab Civil Services Examination held in 2014 has directed the state selection commission to maintain the status quo.
On January 8, Justice RN Raina had allowed the bunch of petitions seeking subject-wise calculation of qualifying marks. The petitions were filed following an ambiguity whether 33% qualifying marks were to be read 'subject-wise' or 'paper-wise'.
The petition filed by 45 people had said the selection commission had stated in the procedure and the scheme of the main examination that a candidate was required to obtain 45% marks in aggregate in all subjects and minimum 33% passing marks in each subject. However, while declaring the main examination result, the commission chose not to follow its own directions by changing the criteria to 33% passing marks in each paper, instead of the subject.
The petitioners also pointed out that the general studies subject consisted of four papers of 250 marks each. As per the condition imposed now, 33% marks were required in each of the four papers, instead of the subject. This was against the guidelines issued by the commission before the start of the examination.
The petitioners also pointed out that the commission declared the main examination result on December 8, 2014, in which only 213 candidates emerged successful for the advertised 121 posts in the PCS and allied services. As such, even the norm stipulating that the number of candidates will be three times the number of posts was also not followed, as rules were changed midway.
Following the directives of the high court, the merit list was expected to be revised, but now with the fresh direction from the division bench the commission would have to maintain the status quo.