Bureaucrats to blame for exam delays, litigation: Apex court

New Delhi, May 19 (Calcutta Tube) The Supreme Court Wednesday slammed bureaucrats for not sticking to schedules and delaying competitive exams for judicial and other services in states, saying this was generating litigation.

An apex court vacation bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice C.K. Prasad said: ‘Except for all-India service examinations, no other exams in the states are held on schedule.’

Justice Singhvi said: ‘These bureaucrats keep everyone on tenterhooks and want people to roam in the corridors of the secretariat.’

‘It was this attitude of bureaucrats that is generating litigation,’ Justice Singhvi said adding that ‘bureaucrats want litigation to flourish’.

He said: ‘If rules are clear then there will be less complexities and less people will do the rounds of the corridors of the secretariat.’

Justice Singhvi said: ‘Eighty percent of the cases involving the appointment of district judicial officers are challenged in high courts or the Supreme Court.’

The court was hearing a matter related to Bihar Judicial Services Competitive Examination 2005. An advertisement for recruitment of judicial officers was put out Nov 18, 2005 and the final result for it was declared Aug 15, 2007.

The apex court’s stinging observations about bureaucrats came while it was hearing a petition challenging the unduly high percentage of marks earmarked for interview in the Bihar Judicial Service Competitive Examination 2005.

In the said competitive examination, 850 marks were set aside for written tests and 200 marks for the interview.

The petitioner’s counsel Jayant Bhushan said that a judgment by a four-judge bench of the apex court has said that the marks earmarked for the interview could not be more than 12.2 percent.

Bhushan pointed to yet another judgment of the apex court in which it, while reiterating the four-judge bench judgment, said that keeping 28.5 percent marks for interview test was unreasonable.

While dismissing the petition by unsuccessful candidate Manish Kumar Shahi, Justice Singhvi gave him a few tips on how to appear before the interview board.

Justice Singhvi pointed out that percentage of marks earmarked for interview was still higher in other States.

He said that in Punjab it was as high as 25 percent. Justice Singhvi said that in the instant case one of the members of the interview board was a sitting judge of the high court – who is an expert and the ‘views expressed by an expert judge must prevail’.

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