The Delhi High Court has said the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is within its rights to refuse re-evaluation of civil service examination papers.
The order virtually dashes hopes of lakhs of candidates who fail to clear despite performing very well but think
they stand a chance after a re-look and can even approach courts if the commission fails to accede to their request.
The court ruling came on a petition filed by N. Geeta Swapna, an aspiring IAS officer from Delhi who appeared for the Civil Service (Main) Examination (2006).
Swapna said she had done “very well in all the papers” but could not make it to the merit list as she secured only 64/ 200 and 126/300 respectively in English Essay and Psycology-II papers. She wrote a letter to the UPSC seeking re-evaluation of these two papers.
The commission said the two papers were “rechecked and retotalled” but no error was noticed. She was told rules did not permit “re-evaluation”.
Seeking justice, she moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), contending UPSC ought to have rechecked her papers by an “independent expert in the field” as the “evaluation was done by persons who were unqualified and incompetent”. She accused the commission of acting “arbitrarily”.
But her application was dismissed by CAT, saying there were no rules which permitted re-evaluation and it was impossible to issue a direction to the UPSC. It was then she approached the Delhi High Court.
The commission explained to the court “practical difficulties” in permitting re-evaluation of answer sheets after the declaration of the results and judges S. Muralidhar and Suresh Kait were convinced.
The HC said: “No error can be found in the UPSC evaluation system. There is no rule requiring it to undertake revaluation of the answer sheets. We are not at all impressed by the submission that the evaluation of the answer sheets of the petitioner in the first instance was done by the persons who were not qualified or competent.”