New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to explain why an additional chance cannot be given to Union Public Service Commission’s civil services examination aspirants whose preparations were crippled due to Covid-19 crisis.
“It’s just a one-time relaxation. It has been done before, why not this time,” a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar asked Additional Solicitor General SV Raju.
The court sought a reply from the Centre by February 1, Monday on the number of additional candidates who can come into fray if extra attempt is granted and the number of times the UPSC had earlier given such a relaxation.
As per the rules, an aspirant can appear for the civil services examination for six times or till 32 years of age, whichever is earlier.
The Apex Court, last year, while hearing a petition by VasireddyGovardhan Sai Prakash, had asked the UPSC to consider giving an extra chance to aspirants as they were affected by the pandemic. The Top Court, however, allowed the commission to conduct the paper on October 1 and rejected the plea of the petitioner to further postpone it.
The Centre thereafter informed the SC that it is considering the court’s suggestion but on January 25, 2021, submitted a counter affidavit, saying that an extra chance would create a differential treatment and the government would not grant it.
The Top Court, in Thursday’s hearing, was dissatisfied by the Centre’s submission as the counter affidavit failed to mention at what level the decision was taken and asked to file another affidavit.
The UPSC has already released the examination schedule for 2021 with preliminary examination slated for June 27.