The Jammu and Kashmir high court on Thursday cancelled the examinations conducted by the J&K Service Selection Board (JKSSB) for the posts of Junior Engineers (Civil) in the Jal Shakti Department and sub-inspectors of police.
A single judge bench of Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal cancelled the junior engineers and sub-inspectors of police exams conducted by the JKSSB at “whatever stage these are on date”.
The high court also observed that by its own acts of omission and commission, the functioning of the JKSSB does not inspire confidence in holding public examinations.
“It has become incumbent on all stakeholders to review the functioning of the Board,” the court said and held that process adopted and decision made by awarding contract to M/s Aptech Ltd is “malafide and change of condition in tender was intended to favour the agency”.
“These decisions will have an effect on public interest as the Respondent No. 2 (M/s Aptech Ltd) has been assigned to conduct examinations, wherein the selectees will be appointed to hold public posts,” the court said and quashed the contract awarded by government in favour of the agency pursuant to e-NIT (No.19 of 2022) dated September 30 this year for conduct of its various examinations through computer-based tests mode.
“Consequently, all the exams viz Junior Engineer-civil (Jal Shakti Department) and Sub Inspector (Home Department) held by respondent No.1 (JKSSB) through respondent no. 2 (M/s Aptech Ltd) furtherance of the aforementioned ‘award of contract to conduct examinations’ are also set aside/cancelled at whatever stage they are as on date.”
The court passed the directions while disposing of a petition by a number of aspirants who responded to the advertisement for various examinations to be conducted by the JKSSB including Junior Engineer (civil), Jal Shakti Department and Sub Inspector (Home Department). The petitioners also sought direction to JKSSB not to conduct the examination through M/s Aptech Ltd being “blacklisted” in the past.
The court also directed the government to have the whole process of tender allotment to the black listed company probed by none less than a retired judge of the high court.