Retired judge to re-evaluate DJS exam answer sheets: SC

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday said it will appoint a retired judge of the apex court to re-evaluate the answer sheets of the Delhi Judicial Services (DJS) main exam of 2014 which have come under cloud for alleged “unreasonable and arbitrary” evaluation.

The apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant said the judge they would appoint would be the “strictest” judge.

“We will appoint a strictest judge,” Justice Misra said directing the next hearing of the matter on November 6 when the court would name the judge.

The court said the after the re-evaluation of the answer sheet, the judge would summit the report to it.

Saying that nothing could be decided on assumption and presumption, the court did not accept Bhushan’s submission that some of the toppers in the judicial services examination of other states were unsuccessful in DJS 2014 exam.

“We don’t accept Prashant Bhushan’s submission that toppers will always be toppers,” said the bench.

The court order came on a PIL by the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) which has sought the quashing of the main exam result and re-evaluation of the answer-sheets by an independent expert committee headed by a retired judge of the high court.

The court by its August 4 order declined to stay the interview of the successful candidate, saying: “We are not inclined to stay the interview. However, the results would be dependent on the ultimate outcome of the petition.”

Challenging the main 2014 DJS exam on the grounds of “selection and evaluation” process being unreasonable and arbitrary” and in “violation of Article 14”, the PIL has contended that some of the candidates in their representation have said that they were “topper and gold medallist in their respective law colleges”.

The PIL said the successful candidates’ ranked number one and three are children of sitting judges of the high court.

The PIL petitioner has told the court that for 80 vacancies of DJS, 9,033 candidate appeared in the preliminary exam. A total of 659 appeared in the main exams held on October 10 and 11, 2014.

Of the 80 vacancies – 55 were in general category and 25 in reserved category.

The results that were declared on May 1 – eight months after the examination – only 15 candidate (13 from general category and two from reserved category) were selected for interview to be held on August 6.

The CPIL has told the court that a number of candidates who appeared in the exams were already serving as judicial officers in subordinate judiciary in different states and 10 candidates were those who had topped the judicial services examination in their respective states.

The court has been told that 68 candidate who appeared in DJS examination earlier cleared the judicial services examination in their respective “most of them are sitting judges in their respective states”.

The NGO has also told the court: “At least six candidate, who have not been selected for the interview, are the first rank holder in the judicial exams of their respective state, and at least three candidate are second rank holders in their respective (state) judicial exams.”

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