UPSC third ranker gets HC notice for producing ‘fake’ disability certificate
It was alleged that Ronanki, who belonged to the Other Backward Caste, submitted a fake certificate stating he has 45% disability to the UPSC while applying for the civil services exam last year.
The Hyderabad high court on Tuesday issued notices to Gopalakrishna Ronanki, who was ranked third in the civil services examination this year, to prove the disability certificate that he submitted to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) while appearing for the examination, was genuine.
The high court was acting on a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate M Muralikrishna. A division bench headed by Justice Ramesh Ranganathan also served notices to the UPSC and the Andhra Pradesh government, asking them to submit reports within three weeks.
Muralikrishna alleged that Ronanki, who belonged to the Other Backward Caste, submitted a fake certificate stating he has 45% disability to the UPSC while applying for the civil services exam last year.
While the cut-off marks for qualifying for the Mains examination for OBC candidates was 110.66, Ronanki could get only 91.34. As such, he had not qualified for the Mains under the OBC quota.
“However, the cut-off mark for physically challenged candidates was 75.34 and since Ronanki had produced the physically challenged certificate, he got qualified for the Mains,” the advocate said in the PIL. “But, Ronanki’s disability is not so grave as to declare him physically challenged. It is a fake certificate.”
Muralikrishna also argued that disabled candidates get extra one hour for writing the Mains exam. “While all the other candidates had to complete the examination within three hours, Ronanki had taken four hours to write the papers in the Mains,” he said.
When contacted, Ronanki told the Hindustan Times he was shocked at the allegations levelled against him. He said he had fallen down from a tree when he was in Class 10 in 2002 and fractured his right arm.
“I cannot bend my hand because of the fracture and the doctors at the local government hospital certified that I am a disabled person. Even after the personality test at the UPSC, I underwent a medical examination at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi, where the doctors had certified that I suffer from a disability,” he said.
“I come from a poor farmer’s family. How can I manipulate my certificate?” the 30-year-old asked.
Ronanki said he got through the civil services exam because of his hard work and determination. “I have the faith in judiciary and the almighty. The truth will triumph ultimately,” he said.
Ronanki has been a teacher in a primary school for the last 11 years. His family belongs to Parasamba village of Palasa block in Srikakulam district, the most backward area of Andhra Pradesh.
Under Rule 14 of the Rules for the civil services exam, anyone found guilty of submitting fabricated documents or documents which have been tampered with, or making statements which are incorrect or false or suppressing material information, can be disqualified by the commission from the exam.
They can also be debarred either permanently or for a specified period from any exam or selection held by them.
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