The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a batch of petitions filed by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) aspirants seeking an extra chance to sit for the Civil Service (Preliminary) examination to be held later this year. The petitioners, many of whom were on frontline duty during the Covid-19 pandemic, exhausted their last chance to sit in the examination held in October 2020. Earlier, the Centre had agreed to provide an extra chance on the condition they were not age barred.
A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi passed the order on Wednesday. A copy of the judgment will be uploaded on the Supreme Court website later in the day. The bench had heard the case on February 9 and reserved its order following arguments from the Centre, UPSC and petitioners.
Over 100 petitioners have exhausted their last attempt to sit in the examination either due to age or number of attempts. They could not take the exam last year due to the pandemic. The Centre had earlier opposed the petitions. However, it later agreed to create a one-time exception for those who missed out due to limited quota of attempts.
During the hearing, the court had asked Centre to create the exception for age-bared candidates as well, which it refused to do.
For the uninitiated, general category candidates get six chances to qualify for the exam till the age of 32. The age limit for OBC category is 35 years while the number of attempts in nine. SC/ST candidates can sit for the exam till 37 years of age with no bar on number of attempts.