A bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri gave the direction on Tuesday while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by over 90 candidates challenging answers of 12 questions of the CGPSC preliminary exam, prepared by a panel of experts, said Rohit Sharma, one of the lawyers representing petitioners.
The Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CGPSC) had conducted the preliminary exam for recruitment in state civil services on February 2 for which an advertisement was issued last year.
After the exam, model answers were issued by the commission on February 18 and objections were invited from candidates over them, Sharma said.
Around 840 candidates had filed their objections in respect of 50 questions of the first question paper (general Studies) and 7 submitted objections for 9 questions of the second paper (eligibility test).
Thereafter, the commission constituted an expert body and the panel published its answers on May 29. Subsequently, the results were declared on June 12 and 3,616 candidates were shortlisted for the mains examination, Sharma said.
After the declaration of the results, over 90 candidates had filed petitions in the HC challenging answers of 12 questions prepared by the expert body, he said.
During the hearing, the petitioners lawyers had argued in the court that answers settled by the expert body were apparently “wrong”.
These answers need to be evaluated by a separate team of experts under the vigil of the court as the CGPSC would not be able to do the job independently, they argued.
They had also contended that the CGPSC has not prescribed any syllabus which can be held to be authentic so as to arrive at a particular answer.
Counsels who appeared for the CGPSC had argued that submissions made by the petitioners, that the answers suggested by the expert committee should be rejected, has “no force”.
As many as 21 experts, each dealing with different subjects, were appointed by the CGPSC and the petitioners have failed to submit why the opinion of experts cannot be accepted, the commission’s counsels had said.
After hearing both sides, the HC had reserved its order on October 14 which was delivered on Tuesday.
The court has asked for re-evaluation of answers of three questions related to the constitution, forests and crops out of 12, Sharma said.
The HC order said, ..it is found that three questions – ie question Nos. 2, 76 and 99 – the answers given by the experts appear to be palpably wrong on the face of it on the basis of the documents on which the experts have relied upon.”
“In such a case when the negative marking exists, then the entire result would be required to reshuffle after fresh key answers are re-verified on the basis of the new answer, the judge noted.
“The CGPSC shall send the aforementioned three questions and answers again to the expert body who will revisit the answer. Thereafter, if the answers are changed, the entire list of candidates shall be reshuffled,” the HC said.
“This exercise shall be carried out as early as possible within an outer limit of two months,” it said.
Earlier last month, the HC had stayed the CGPSC mains examination scheduled on October 18.