High Court dismisses plea challenging 2021 preliminary examination answer key

The Rajasthan High Court has dismissed a plea challenging the final results of the Rajasthan Judicial Services Civil Judges Framework (Preliminary Examination).

The exam took place on 28.11.2021 and the final result was declared on 11.01.2022.

This plea was filed by a certain Ashwini Chaturvedi. She had challenged the administration’s decision on the correct choice for question 80 and its decision to delete question 81, whereby the complainant had only missed the threshold for the RJS preliminary examination by a point.

A dividing bench of Judge Akil Kureshi and Judge Madan Gopal Vyasobserved,

We do not believe that the petitioner has established any case of interference. As is well established by a series of Supreme Court judgments, interference by the High Court in specialist areas where recruitment is carried out through specialist agencies, should be the minimum.

The court, while relying on Ran Vijay Singh and others v. State of Uttar Pradesh, observed that the accuracy of questions or answers, the role of the High Court in exercising written jurisdiction under Section 226 of the Constitution of India would be extremely limited. Unless it is pointed out that the question or answer is completely and clearly wrong, the High Court would not overturn a carefully considered decision by the expert body, the court added.

The court noted that exams run by recruiting agencies for appointment to public positions most often ran into controversy over the accuracy of questions and answers.

The court further noted that the state and UPSC are also not immune to these controversies. Often there are multiple representations received from candidates and even recruitment agencies have to seek expert advice for which expert panels are formed, the court added.

Additionally, the court observed that the correct questions are either stated or in some cases due to ambiguity, doubt or lack of certainty, the question is deleted altogether. The court added that whatever one desires, there is hardly any recruitment process that ends without its share of controversies.

In particular, in Ran Vijay Singhthe Supreme Court made observations following the reassessment of the answers, which were reiterated in Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission, and another against Rahul Singh :

1)If a law, rule or regulation governing an examination automatically authorizes the re-evaluation of an answer sheet or the review of an answer sheet, the examining authority may authorize it;

2)“inferential process of reasoning or by a process of rationalization” and only in rare or exceptional cases where a material error has been made;

3)The Court should not reassess or review a candidate’s answer sheets at all – it has no expertise in the matter and academic matters are best left to academics;

4)The Court should assume the accuracy of the key answers and proceed on that assumption;

5)In case of doubt, the benefit should go to the examining authority rather than to the candidate.

Counsel for the Applicant argued that the Applicant gave correct answers to both questions. He argued that the administration had therefore made a serious mistake in declaring the petitioner’s answer to question no. 80 incorrect and deleting question no. 81 altogether. substantiate that the applicant gave correct answers to the above questions.

Case title: Ashwini Chaturvedid c. High Court of Rajasthan, Jodhpur, through its Registrar General

Mark M. Gagnon