KAS Prelims Result (Revised) held back by J&K High Court

J&K PSC had recently announced the revised result for Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) 2016 exam, but the High Court stayed the result. On 16th August, J&K High Court held back the notification issued by Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (J&KPSC) concerning the new list of applicants being stated as qualified in the KAS 2016 preliminary exam.

The J&K High Court stated, “In the meantime, subject to the objections and till next date before the Bench, the operation of the impugned notification (No. PSC/exams/2017/44) dated 09.08.2017 stays.”

J&K PSC released a notification regarding the concern over prelims exam’s incorrect answer keys against 24 questions on 9th August. As much as 429 numbers of applicants dropped out of 6,925 applicants who had been declared qualified before. As mentioned by them, they could not qualify in accordance with the revised cut-off merit list of 277.275 scores after the revised answer keys.

While opposing the court, Arif Sikander Mir Advocate, counsel stated, “The applicants are KAS aspirants who were in the earlier list and in second, they are out. Earlier cut off was 270.77 marks and after re-evaluation, they have decided to have cut-off point at 277.275 and as such all the candidates who have secured between 270 and 277 marks are out. As per Supreme Court guidelines, they cannot fix new cut-off and once they do it, it has retrospective effect and such rules of selection are changed.”

As per the reports, total 36,681 applicants had appeared in both the papers of the preliminary KAS 2016 exam held on 19th March. The result of preliminary exam was announced on 23rd April with 6,925 applicants declared as qualified. In a notification dated 9th August, 2017, J&K PSC announced that the result has been revised and while the number of qualified candidates remain same, as much as 429 candidates listed in the previous result have been replaced.

M K Hanjura, a single bench Justice issued the stay for the result of Combined Preliminary Exam after acknowledging the petition made by the affected applicants. The petitioners were the applicants who were earlier chosen as qualified, but later dropped out due to the revised cut-off merit. HC has called for J&KPSC’s answer within 4 weeks to the disagreement elevated by dropouts.

Arif Sikander Mir Advocate, counsel while representing the 4 petitioners alleged the J&KPSC has gone against the SC guidelines on the matter. As per the information, at the time of inspection of OMR sheets, the answer keys of political science and general studies were displayed against the rule. “Under the grab of setting answer keys all right, they have in-fact done revaluation as additional or subtraction is revaluation and under rules, re-evaluation is not permitted,” he said.

While moving on, he said that in a filed affidavit before the Jammu wing of the HC, the J&KPSC has ‘on record’ declared that all inconsistency was amended before the 1st result was announced.

The petitioners along with their advocate stated that although the commission issued revised answer key, the revised answer key continued to have errors. Some answers that had been correctly notified earlier, stood changed to a wrong answer, they alleged.

The petitioners submitted that there were no valid changes in the attitude of J&KPSC. They stated, “It is most respectfully submitted that the career of every single student, who appears for the examinations conducted by the J&KPSC is at stake. Even if one single answer in the key is incorrect, the whole merit list could change.”

They submitted, “Such an approach needs to be taken a serious note for protecting the careers of thousands of students. In that view of the matter, it is most respectfully prayed that this court be pleased to issue necessary directions to the respondents.” Owing to the controversy related to KAS preliminary result, the notification for Main exams was held withdrawn.

To conclude with, we can hope the kind of hard work that candidates has put in to prepare for the exam turns out to be a fruitful one.

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