Judicial services exam results come under SC radar

Harish V Nair   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 5, 2015  | 11:26 IST
Judicial services exam results on SC radar
Photo: Reuters

Finding prima facie irregularities in the results of the exam conducted for the selection of subordinate court judges for Delhi last year, the Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained the Delhi High Court from declaring final results of the Delhi Judicial Services Exam 2014 till its further orders.

But the court allowed the interviews fixed for Thursday and the other processes to go on. The court's order came on a petition filed by the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, and the case was argued by noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan. It is to be noted that in a letter dated June 18, 2015 to Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini, Union Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda had written that his ministry had received complaints about children of sitting Delhi High Court judges being declared successful when judges of the same court were involved in the examination process.

The petition was outcome of several Delhi Judicial Service candidates - all of them sitting judges of lower courts - approaching Bhushan and alleging foul play in the conduct of the exams, in which 64 district judges from outside Delhi failed despite quite a few having topped their respective state judicial service exam, while candidates who were allegedly the relatives of sitting Delhi High Court judges cleared the exam. Only 15 candidates cleared the DJS 2014 Mains exam despite there being more than 570 vacancies in the Delhi lower judicial service.

Advocate ADN Rao, the standing counsel for Delhi High Court, told the apex court that there was "nothing unusual in selecting few candidates and it has happened earlier also". Bhushan had knocked the doors of the apex court due to "lack of response" from Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini to who he had written. "The topper and another successful candidate are daughters of sitting judges of Delhi High Court, which conducted the exam.

Records further showed that at least 65 sitting judicial officers from 11 states failed the exam, raising more questions about the evaluation process," Bhushan alleged. "Such results show that there is a serious problem with the evaluation method... this kind of selection process will demotivate several other meritorious students... students with good academic records would never appear in the exams having such an unreasonable selection method," stated the letter. He requested the Chief Justice to put the declaration of final result on hold till answer sheets are re-evaluated "by adopting fair and reasonable standards, by persons of unquestioned fairness, so that meritorious and suitable candidates could be selected for the notified vacancies."

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