No violation of fundamental right, if examination cancelled on irregularities:SC

No violation of fundamental right, if examination cancelled on irregularities:SC

Candidates cannot claim violation of fundamental right to equality if authorities cancel an examination due to irregularities or unfair means adopted by some of them, the Supreme Court has held.

The top court said the authority of the state to take appropriate measures to maintain the purity of any examination process is unquestionable. The government was not even obliged to seek proof of each and every fact which vitiated the examination process.

A bench of J Chelameswar and Abhay Manohar Sapre said that denying power to the state from taking appropriate remedial actions, including cancellation of the recruitment process, would neither be consistent with the demands of larger public interest nor would be conducive to the efficiency of administration.

“Purity of the examination process - whether such examination process pertains to assessment of the academic accomplishment or suitability of candidates for employment under the state - is an unquestionable requirement of the rationality of any examination process. Rationality is an indispensable aspect of public administration under our Constitution,” the bench said.

The court rejected the contention that if some of the candidates resorted to some malpractice, it cannot lead to the conclusion that the entire examination process was required to be cancelled, causing undue hardship to huge number of innocent candidates.

In its judgement, the court dismissed the plea made by Gohil Vishvaraj Hanubhai and others against the Gujarat govenment's decision, cancelling examination for recruitment in the revenue department to about 1500 posts. Apart from other irregularities, it was found that 127 candidates belonging to one family were placed in the provisional merit list. 178 others were found to have given same residential address.

The appellants claimed that the state government herded all the candidates together. But the court said to eliminate only wrong doers after identifying them would be a time-consuming process. The state however can take care of the disadvantage for some of those who have crossed the upper age limit, it said.

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