Delhi Judicial Service Exam: HC refuses reassessment of aspirant’s answer sheet below a mark

Delhi Court Services Review: The Delhi High Court has refused to order the reassessment of one of the answer sheets of a Delhi Senior Judicial Service (DHJS) aspirant who was one point away from qualifying for the next round of the competitive test.

Calling it “undoubtedly a difficult case”, a bench of Judge Vibhu Bakhru noted that the applicant, a lawyer, had obtained the “highest score among all the unsuccessful candidates”, but in the absence of a loophole in the system. marking or the procedure followed for the evaluation, the court cannot give him any assistance.

The bench, also including Judge Amit Mahajan, added that the court may exercise the power under Section 226 of the Constitution to grant relief in “rare and exceptional cases where it is established that there is had a manifest error in the assessment of the examination papers” or if there was any the candidates’ right to fair assessment in accordance with the specified procedure has been impaired.

The applicant failed to obtain the qualifying marks in one of the examination papers, namely “Law-III”, while obtaining “significantly higher marks” in the other papers of the main examination ( writing) of the DHJS and was therefore eliminated from the competition.

“This is undoubtedly a difficult case where a deserving candidate has failed to meet the required threshold. However, this Court is unable to admit that there is a manifest error in the system rating or systematic failure,” the court said in its Sept. 12 order.

“It is pertinent to note that the answers to the questions posed in the paper for Law-III were essay-type questions and were assessed subjectively. The Court is advised that, for the sake of consistency, the answer sheets were assessed by the same examiner. It is possible that during a reassessment, the applicant will obtain higher marks. However, in the absence of circumstances indicating a flaw in the marking system or the procedure followed for the evaluation of the answer sheets, this Court is not in a position to provide any assistance to the applicant”, observed the Court.

The tribunal further noted instances of other similarly placed candidates and observed that if re-evaluation was permitted, it would also be necessary to do so for other candidates as well.

The tribunal also considered that “undeniably” the marking was strict since fifty-four candidates failed to qualify the test in question but added, “even if the marking was somewhat strict, a sufficient number of candidates obtained the qualifying marks.

Mark M. Gagnon