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SC gives UPSC aspirants liberty to approach govt for another chance

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The Supreme Court on Thursday empathised with the plight of aspirants compelled by COVID-19 restrictions to avoid their closing shot on the elite civil companies exams in 2020 and gave them liberty to make a illustration earlier than the federal government for a second chance in 2021.

A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna noticed in its order that each the ultimate attempters who had been compelled to avoid the exams and those that attended the exams regardless of being ill-prepared due to the pandemic, had been at liberty to urge the federal government to take a “lenient view” of their circumstances and provides them another alternative.

The courtroom didn’t intervene any additional, reasoning {that a} three-judge Bench has, in February, declined comparable pleas by aspirants for a second chance in 2021.

“If we have to grant relief, we have to do it for everybody. All aspects were considered in our judgment delivered by a Bench of three judges. We cannot interfere in a policy decision of the government unless it is unreasonable or arbitrary,” Justice Khanwilkar acknowledged.

Justice Khanna stated the choice to not intervene was not a straightforward one for the courtroom. “We also feel the heartbreak. We have compassion for you,” he noticed.

The Bench initially requested Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati whether or not the authorities might give another alternative to the aspirants who had been compelled to not seem within the examination.

Senior advocates Gopal Sankaranarayanan and Krishnan Venugopal argued that the February judgment didn’t present for aspirants who had misplaced their closing chance in 2020 just because they selected to adjust to the regulation and COVID-19 restrictions.

“The government is denying us our dreams because we strictly obeyed the COVID-19 directions of the government and were conscious of the risk of spreading the virus. We did this at the cost of our future… We are now stuck between a rock and a hard place just because we followed the law,” Mr. Sankaranarayanan submitted.

Mr. Venugopal stated the denial of another alternative in 2021 would, within the context of not having been ready to attend the examination for the ultimate time final 12 months, be a violation of the basic rights of the aspirants.

“But policies are generic in nature. It cannot be difficulty-specific or category-specific or tailored for a particular person or situation… It provides a level playing field for all. If concession is given to one category, others would come seeking more. There will be confusion. It will have a cascading effect. Besides, this is an issue a three-judge Bench of ours has already dealt with. We cannot tinker with policy unless you show us it is unreasonable or arbitrary… So instead of appealing to us, why don’t you address this to the government. Authorities have been liberal to you in the past,” the Bench stated.

Two classes of aspirants

It was coping with the submissions made by two classes of civil companies aspirants.

The first involved those that had been unable to take their closing try on October 4, 2020 due to the COVID-19 state of affairs and lockdown. “The exam was scheduled to happen on October 4, 2020. However, on the day of exam, we were directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, on account of the restrictive protocols and guidelines given by the State, which included mandatory quarantine, etc, we were unable to appear in the exam and take their last attempt,” their writ petitions stated.

The second group comprised aspirants who managed to take their closing try at cracking the examination on October 4. These candidates declare they had been compelled to danger their well being in the course of the pandemic and take the examination.

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