8888677771 | Telangana HC orders reconduct of TSPSC Group-1 prelims exam, cancelled for the second time | Hyderabad News

The Telangana High Court Saturday cancelled Group-1 prelims examination conducted by the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) on June 11 this year and ordered it to be conducted again. This is the second time the same exam has been cancelled. Meanwhile, the TSPSC has decided to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.

The petition filed by three candidates backed by the National Students Union of India (NSUI) alleged gross violations in the conduct of the examination, starting with the non-implementation of biometric attendance. They said that the OMR sheets used in the exam were not pre-printed and did not have hall ticket numbers and photographs of the candidates.

Over 2.32 lakh government job aspirants had appeared for the exam conducted for recruitment to 503 Group-1 posts. The exam was first held on October 16, 2022, but was cancelled in March 2023 after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing allegations of paper leak found credible leads supporting the allegations.

One of the instructions for the candidates in the examination notification issued on April 26, 2022, was that candidates need to report at the venue at least 30 minutes in advance to record their photo or thumb impression on the biometric system. Their biometrics were already collected by the TSPSC. However, the petitioners noted that this instruction was omitted for the examination held in June 2023. Senior Counsel Aloori Giridhar Rao argued that a security feature that allowed the TSPSC to verify the identity and also check the impersonation of any candidate was removed, thereby giving an opportunity to candidates to impersonate in the examination.

NSUI Telangana unit president Venkat Balmoor told indianexpress.com that the exam was conducted without following the guidelines mentioned during its notification, and alleged lack of transparency as well as the possibility of miscreants clearing the exam through malpractices. “The number of students who appeared for the exam on June 11 was 2,33,248 as per the TSPSC. But 17 days later, a web note issued by the TSPSC had the number of candidates increased by 258 as per the number of OMR sheets. How is this possible? We challenged the lack of transparency. In place of biometrics, how can they use Aadhaar and PAN for physical verification of candidates?” he said, alleging that this was done deliberately to assist certain candidates who would not have cleared the exam otherwise.

With regard to the deviation in the name of one of the candidates in the hall ticket and exam sheet as pointed out by the petitioners, the Advocate General submitted the candidate’s marriage certificate to prove that the person in question had used her married surname on the hall ticket instead of her maiden surname as mentioned in the application. He also noted that this was only a screening exam and even if some candidates could get through due to alleged deficiencies or laxities in the conduct of the examination, they would have to face the Mains Examination. This argument was not accepted by the Court.

In her judgment copy, Justice P Madhavi Devi said the TSPSC “does not appear to be careful either in conducting the examination or in correlating the data of the candidates who appeared for the examination for Group-I services in spite of its importance and its impact on the candidates appearing for the examination” and ordered re-conduct of the Preliminary Examination by implementing all the general instructions issued in the original notification including biometrics without any exception.

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