"Impossible to Defer UPSC Prelims Beyond October," UPSC Tells Supreme Court
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) informed the top Court that it would not be possible to defer the UPSC preliminary exams beyond October.
20 UPSC aspirants move petition in Supreme Court for postponement of UPSC exams
20 UPSC aspirants moved a petition in Supreme Court to defer the civil services (prelims) exam scheduled on October 4. Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava appeared on behalf of the petitioners. His main contention is to quash the revised calendar issued by the UPSC and to postpone the exam by two or three months. Advocate Srivastava has emphasised that holding the UPSC exams is not possible until the coronavirus cases subside.
Commission's decision to conduct exams violates their rights granted under Article 19(1(g)
The petitioners stated that the UPSC's decision of conducting the exam violates their rights granted under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution to practise their chosen profession of serving the public. They also informed the Court that they may not be able to appear for the exam on October 4 because of risk of illness or death in the wake of COVID-19. They also claimed that UPSC's decision to conduct exam fails to meet the ‘necessity’ prong of the test of proportionality.
The test of proportionality is used as a criterion of fairness and justice in statutory interpretation processes, especially in constitutional law, as a logical method intended to assist in discerning the correct balance between the restriction imposed by a corrective measure and the severity of the nature of the prohibited act.
Deferment would nullify the objective of conducting the exam
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) informed the Supreme Court that it would not be possible to defer the UPSC preliminary exams beyond October.
Appearing for the Commission Advocate Naresh Kaushik, informed the Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari that it is not "possible" to defer the prelims beyond October 4 as "it would hamper the objectives of the exam catering to the four arms of the government."
It further added, "It is impossible to agree to petitioners. It was supposed to be held on September 30. Thereafter it was deferred to October 4. Deferment would nullify the objective of conducting the exam for four arms of government."
The Three-judge Bench asked UPSC to file an affidavit in reply to the plea today.
The Court had earlier granted liberty to the petitioners to serve an advance copy of the plea to UPSC and the Central government.
The next hearing is scheduled for September 30.
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