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Supreme Court allows 5 civil services candidates to attend interview despite non-submission of degree certificate on time due to Covid-19 delays

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The Supreme Court on Friday heard a petition by civil services aspirants whose candidatures had been cancelled due to non-submission of proof of their educational qualifications on the specified date.

In an extraordinary move, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed five civil services candidates who cleared the UPSC Civil Service Main examinations held this year but were disqualified for submitting the degree certificates after the cut-off date, to appear for the interview.

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna passed this direction as a “special case” considering the fact that the candidates missed the last date as their universities declared their results late due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bench observed, “In light of the peculiar facts, we call upon the UPSC to disclose the number of persons similarly placed as the petitioners who may have qualified the main examination exam. We are informed that out of 12 similarly placed persons only 5 candidates may have entered the final merit list to appear for the interview conducted by UPSC in respective branches of the categories.” 

Considering the fact, it is appropriate to issue direction to the UPSC to permit all 5 candidates to participate in the exam in addition to the list already published for the purpose of conducting interview/personality test, the Court said.

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“The five candidates including petitioners are permitted to participate along with post candidates in respect to the categories. We issue this direction as a special case considering the peculiar facts of the present case and in the exercise of our inherent powers under Article 142 of the constitution. This shall not be treated as a precedent.”  

The petitioners were final year students of undergraduate courses of the University of Delhi at the time of filling out the application form of Civil Services, 2020.

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