RANCHIThe Jharkhand High Court on Monday refused to interfere with the conduct of the Jharkhand Public Service Commission’s sixth combined civil services Mains examination, but the HC stayed the publication of results till the court grants its permission.Controversy gripped the JPSC’s sixth combined civil services Mains — the exam began on Monday at 57 centres across the state despite protests — after the commission published results of the preliminary test (Prelims), in which more than 34,000 candidates qualified for the Mains.The number of candidates who cleared the Prelims was about 106 times the available vacancies (326) and that became the bone of contention. It was alleged that as per rules, the number of successful candidates in Prelims could not exceed 15 times the total number of available vacancies.The issue has also been raised in the ongoing budget session of the Jharkhand assembly — the opposition has demanded that the Mains be put on hold.The court’s order came on a petition filed by Pankaj Kumar Pandey, challenging the examination process.A division bench of chief justice Aniruddha Bose and justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary ordered that the results of the Mains would not be published without the court’s permission. It observed that the candidates appearing in the Mains should also be made a party to the case and asked for the publication of notices to this effect in two newspapers by January 30.The bench ordered the uploading of this notice on the official website of the JPSC and the Jharkhand High Court as well. It posted the matter for the next hearing on February 25.JPSC rule changesSenior advocate RS Mazumdar, appearing for the petitioner, argued that even after publication of the advertisement (for the recruitment exams) in 2015, the JPSC had changed the rules on many occasions. Citing examples, he said that the JPSC had changed the minimum qualifying marks required to take the Prelims.“Thereafter, it declared as many as 34,634 candidates successful in the preliminary test. The number of qualified candidates for the main examination was 106 times the [available] vacancy. This was done in utter violation of the rules as the number of successful candidates can’t exceed 15 times the [total] vacancy,” said Mazumdar.He argued that the commission could not change the rules after issuance of the advertisement for recruitment, urging the HC to cancel the results of the Prelims and put a stay on the Mains.