UPSC : Supreme Court’s Intervention in UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, 2023
A Detailed Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Judgment and Its Implications
Background of the Case
The candidates who were facing cancellation of their candidature for the UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, 2023, had not submitted their certificates. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) insisted that these candidates only submit their final degrees as proof of educational qualification under Civil Services Examination Rules, 2023.
Nature of Controversy
The petitioners, who had duly qualified the preliminary examination, moved the apex court challenging the “arbitrary and unreasonable cancellation of their candidature” by the Union Commission on September 1 and August 31. They argued that the cancellation of their candidature was arbitrary, unreasonable, and discriminatory amongst the candidates for the UPSC.
Judgment Name (Party Name)
The case is referred to as “The Supreme Court vs. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)”.
Doctrine/Jurisprudence Laid Down by Supreme Court For UPSC Examination
The Supreme Court, in its judgment, came to the aid of these candidates. A bench comprising Justices A.S. Boppana and Prashant Kumar Mishra granted relief to these aspirants. The court asked UPSC to issue admit cards to these candidates, thereby allowing them to participate in the upcoming UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, 2023.
Important Observations of the Court On UPSC Examination, 2023
The Supreme Court made the following important observations in this case:
- The Court emphasized that the selection processes conducted by public authorities for recruitments have to be fair, transparent, and accountable.
- The Court noted that irregularities in the process give rise to misgivings over whether the process has denied equal access to all persons.
- The Court stated that when the entire process is tainted, the authority in charge of conducting it may decide to cancel the selection as a whole.
- The Court highlighted that this case called for a balance between two competing considerations: the need to preserve public confidence in and the sanctity of selection to public posts and the requirement of fairness.
Important Provisions of Rules of UPSC Examination
The UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination Rules, 2023, have several important provisions that are relevant to this case:
- Submission of Certificates: The UPSC insisted that candidates only submit their final degrees as proof of educational qualification.
- Examination Dates: The Main (Written) Examination in the scheme of the Civil Services Examination, 2023 for the services and posts mentioned in preamble to the Rules was held from 15th September, 2023.
- Examination Pattern: The UPSC Mains or CSE (Main) pattern was revised in 2015. As per the revised pattern, the UPSC Mains 2023 comprised nine theory papers (essay descriptive type). Out of the nine papers, only seven were counted for merit ranking. Candidates also had to choose one optional subject for UPSC Mains.
This case highlights how judicial intervention can ensure fairness and transparency in public recruitment processes. It underscores how courts can balance competing considerations while preserving public confidence in selection processes. It also serves as a reminder for public authorities to ensure their selection processes are fair and transparent.