SC dismisses plea seeking postponement of UPSC civil services prelims 2020
UPSC prelims 2020: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea demanding deferment of the civil service preliminary exam scheduled to be conducted on October 4. The plea was filed by some civil service aspirants who wanted the postponement of UPSC prelims due to Covid-19 pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.
The 3-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari permitted UPSC to conduct the examination maintaining all Covid-related SOPs issued by Ministry of Home Affairs.
The court did not permit separate isolation rooms for Covid positive candidates to appear in the exam as it said medical protocol prescribed isolation and quarantine of such persons. UPSC informed Court that anybody exhibiting symptoms of cough and cold will be seated in a separate room.
Some candidates giving their last attempt and facing age bar disqualification to appear next year urged court to be allowed to get relaxation on this rule if they were unable to appear due to Covid.
The court asked Centre to take a decision on whether this was possible and expected the concerned department to take a call expeditiously.
The other objections on corona warriors not able to appear, candidates unable to prepare due to closure of libraries and lack of transportation available were all found to be lacking any substance by the court.
The court directed that candidates travelling for the purpose of giving examination shall be permitted to travel between states after seeing their admit cards.
The court also refused to accept a suggestion from petitioners to merge this year’s preliminary with next year. The bench said, “We are not impressed. We agree with UPSC that resorting to this suggestion will have a cascading effect on other examinations conducted by UPSC.”
The Civil Services preliminary 2020 examination was earlier scheduled for May 31, which had to be postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. On June 5, UPSC had announced that it will conduct the Prelims examination on October 4 at 2569 centres across 72 cities in the country.
A total of over 10.58 lakh candidates have applied for the examination this year.