The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved the order on the evaluation methodology adopted in the main examination of Haryana Judicial Service 2017 for selection of Civil Judge (Junior Division) in which only nine people were shortlisted out of more than 1,100 candidates. The exam was conducted to fill 107 vacancies.

In May this year, the apex court had asked retired apex court judge, Justice AK Sikri to look into the evaluation methodology, and submit a report on it.
The top court’s order came on a plea filed by 92 aspirants to the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division) in Haryana, seeking quashing of the result of its Main (Written) Examination which was declared on April 11.

The petition challenged the selection process and evaluation method adopted in the examination on the grounds of being “unreasonable, arbitrary and mala fide”.

It alleged that if the examination’s selection process was not stayed, it would cause irreparable damage to the petitioners and other un-successful candidates.

Justice Sikri, in the report, said that the marking in the civil law exam, which was majorly descriptive, was very strict and the paper was too lengthy to be completed within the stipulated time.

The apex court had observed that 1,200 candidates appeared in main exams in Haryana, and only nine were able to qualify for the interview.

A petition has been filed in the top court challenging the selection and evaluation process in the Main Examination of Civil Judge (Junior Division) in the Haryana Civil Service (Judicial Branch), 2017. The petitioners claimed there is discrepancy in the process of selection and top candidates who were selected in other state-level exams could not qualify in Haryana.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for the petitioners said the scaling and moderation method, which is statistical in nature, should be adopted to resolve this issue.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde asked if this methodology has ever been adopted in a judicial exam. Bhushan replied it is being used by the UPSC. The court reckoned that the judicial exam is completely different in nature, and apparently this statistical methodology may not work. The court has reserved the order on this matter.

Earlier, a bench headed by the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “What have you done? You found only nine candidates eligible for interview,” asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s registrar general.

In order to get clarity on the matter, the top court appointed recently retired Supreme Court judge AK Sikri to examine some answer sheets, and then make an assessment, whether the court should accept the concerned evaluation. The court had earlier said no appointments should be made without its permission.

A total 14,301 students took the preliminary examination held on December 22, 2018 for total 107 vacancies.

“1,282 students, out of 14,301, who were declared successful in preliminary examination, took the main examination held on March 15 and 17, 2019,” the petition said.