New Delhi: In a significant development, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it is not in favour of granting one extra opportunity to those civil services aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt in the exams conducted by the UPSC last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The submission in this regard was made by Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing on behalf of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), before the apex court bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar.
“We are not ready to give one more chance. Give me the time to file an affidavit… Last night I received instruction that we are not agreeable,” Raju told the bench, which also comprised justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murai.
The bench, which was hearing the plea filed by a civil services aspirant Rachna Singh, posted the matter for hearing on January 25. It also directed the Centre to file an affidavit during the period and serve it to the parties.
Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the bench that the government was considering the issue of granting one more opportunity to those civil services aspirants who could not appear in their last attempt to crack the UPSC exam.
The top court, on September 30 last year, had refused to postpone the UPSC civil services preliminary exam, which was held on October 4, because of COVID-19 pandemic and floods in several parts of the country.
However, it had directed the central government and the Union Public Service Commission to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who otherwise have their last attempt in 2020, with the corresponding extension of the upper age-limit.
The bench was then told that a formal decision can be taken by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) only.