The purpose of setting up a committee is to understand a particular problem in hand under a microscope and let itself work within the limited and broad scope of the already laid out legislation. A committee is not in power to make new rules.

In the case of, Shweta Dhull & Ors., at Chandigarh High Court the HCS board defended the case by stating that, giving a question without translation was a reform in Haryana’s Civil Service examination.

Challenging HCS Board Exam in High Court Chandigarh
Challenging HCS Board Exam in High Court Chandigarh

Competitive exams are organized by a central agency, where million of candidates apply and attend the exam. The competitive exams in India, are held with the purpose of recruiting the right candidate for the right job, and mainly held for the public sector organization.

Merit is not only the criteria, for selection in India. Along with merit, reservation policy is also used to give a head-start to socially backward candidates.

Hence this requires a fair and justifiable course of action to be taken by the committee. In the recent judgment of Shweta Dhull Case, the High Court held that the committee cannot be put to question for the manner they intend to conduct questions.

The candidates reported that, during the attendance, no appropriate steps were taken to ensure that the appearing candidate’s identity, by the means of biometric scanning, CCTV cameras, QR Code on the admit card in the exam hall and no use of permanent ink for getting a thumb impression of the candidate. Allegations were brought on the HPSC, that all these basic facts lead to the breeding ground for corruption.

It is being said, alleged that fifteen questions were out of syllabus and whereas eight of them had at least two right answers to choose from, while some had a wrong translation.

A committee set up for conducting a competitive exam, is somewhat similar to the election commission of India. Hence a committee organizing a competitive exam should ensure fair conduct of its purpose.

Within the limited scope of Article 12 of our Indian Constitution, a committee set up for fair conduct of examination is a State. Being a state, it has some obligations towards its subject or the candidate, to ensure their welfare, by providing everyone a fair and equal opportunity.

What has been alleged on the HCS is that it has failed to fulfill its obligations as directed u/a 12 of our Indian Constitution, for a state. Hence fundamental rights of the candidate are being breached, which in this case would be right to equal opportunity and fair conduct of the examination.

The Chandigarh High Court had to declare in the favor of HCS board. They applied that, a committee cannot be put in question until or unless there is malicious conduct at their end. This saved the HCS board for once.

A board that was in a hurry to conduct its examination has now indefinitely postponed its main paper, as well. Through various precedent, there have been many contradicting statements by the HCS board itself.

In the presence of all the facts, it is really difficult to understand who is right. There is a need for special forensic skills to be used to determine, if the fair conduct of examination was fair or whether it could have been better.

This post is written by Vinayak Bhatia. For more info, please dial 99888-17966.

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