SC slams panel for destroying answer sheets, orders fresh test

Last Updated: Thu, May 03, 2012 13:36 hrs

New Delhi: Upholding a woman scheduled caste candidate's plea that answer sheets were deliberately destroyed by the authorities to favour certain candidates, the Supreme Court has directed the Haryana Public Service Commission to conduct fresh written test and interview to recruit Hindi lecturers.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya agreed with the complaint of the candidate Poonam Rani that the commission had malafidely destroyed the answer sheets of the examination held in October 2008 to avoid judicial scrutiny of the selection process.

Noting that the destruction of the answer sheets was contrary to the apex court's earlier judgement and a resolution passed by the commission, the bench rejected the authorities' plea that the scripts were destroyed due to certain confusion and inadvertence.

"The explanation given by the Secretary for not preserving the answer sheets for three months is frivolous and wholly unacceptable because it is neither the pleaded case of the commission nor the counsel appearing on its behalf argued that the concerned officers were not aware of resolution dated 1.10.1994.

"Therefore, the action of the officers of the commission to destroy the record cannot but be termed as wholly arbitrary and unjustified.

"The sole object of this exercise appears to be to ensure that in the event of challenge to the result of the selection, the court may not be able to scrutinize the record for the purpose of finding out whether the selection was fair and objective or the candidates had been subjected to invidious discrimination," Justice Singhvi writing the judgement said.

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