NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Madras High Court’s order setting aside the selection and appointment of 83 candidates in Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) Group I services because of exam malpractices in 2000-2001. This is the first time these many senior officers in Tamil Nadu run the risk of losing their jobs following the Supreme Court verdict.
While the detailed SC order is yet to be out, the 83 officers appear to be running out of legal options.
Group I services include the posts of deputy collector, deputy superintendent of police (category-I), commercial tax officer and divisional fire officer. All the selected candidates were given postings in the 2005 batch.
A bench of justices Anil Dave and Vikramjit Sen upheld the High Court ruling while hearing appeals of the TNPSC and the candidates. The TNPSC had alleged that 83 of the 91 selected candidates had committed various violations while taking their test, including using sketch pen, pencil, two colours, and making irrelevant markings. The High Court felt these markings could be a guiding or identification factor amounting to malpractice or an attempt to trace the answer script of a particular candidate.
Criticising the TNPSC, the High Court had said that the selection should have been transparent and unbiased, giving no scope or room for anybody to raise their little finger against it.
Setting aside their appointment, a division bench comprising justices Elipe Dharma Rao and
D Hariparanthaman had said: “Illegally appointed candidates cannot claim any equity. We are constrained and compelled to set aside the selections only because they have indulged in malpractices and grossly violated the instructions. On this ground itself, their answer sheets should have been thrown out of consideration by the TNPSC.”