HC strikes down plea to appear in civil exams for fifth time

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna dismissed the plea of Bijender Singh Rathor to declare the Indian Administrative Service (Appointment by Competitive Examination) Regulations as ultra vires and unconstitutional.

"It is noteworthy in view of the historical backdrop of the constitutional provisions. Hence, we are of the considered opinion that it meets the test of reasonable classification. Judged from these angles, we are of the considered opinion that the said regulation does not suffer from the vice of Articles 14 or 16 of the Constitution of India," the bench said upholding the central government's January 2010 notification for conduct of the preliminary examination.
Following the notification for the examination, Rathor had appeared the examination in May 23 last year. The UPSC, however, did not declare his result on the ground that he had attempted for the fifth time which was against the competitive examination rules.
The petitioner had earlier approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, which rejected his plea in March this year.

The bench accepted the Centre's argument that unlimited chances were given to SC/ST candidates so that they could compete to the best of their ability and come to the mainstream, but the upper age limit is prescribed for them and that is not unreasonable.
Alleging that the regulation is discriminatory, Rathor said the SC/ST candidates were allowed to appear the test as many times as they like and OBC candidates were permitted for seven attempts, whereas the general candidates were allowed only for four times, which is against the fundamental rights to equality.

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