Allahabad High Court quashes UPPCS-2021 Pre Exam results, directs recalibration giving 5% reservation benefit to Ex-Army Personnel

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Court has ordered that the 2021 Amendment, giving 5% benefit to ex-army men shall be implemented in UPPCS Examination-2021. Court held that UPPSC was remiss in faithfully carrying out its responsibility and refused to grant the benefit as the actual selection process was initiated only on March 23, 2022 when the Main written examination was held, not last year when the forms for the pre-exam were filled.

The Allahabad High Court has quashed the results of Uttar Pradesh PCS Preliminary Examination 2021 and has directed the U.P. Public Service Commission to recalibrate the pre-exam result giving benefit of 5% reservation to Ex-Army Personnel on Group-B and Group-C Posts.

Court has ordered that after the publication of Preliminary examination Results within one month, admit cards shall be issued for the Main written examination accordingly, and results thereof be declared giving 5% reservation on Group-B posts as well to Ex- Army Personnel.

Call letters for interviews may be issued accordingly, Court has directed.

There are 676 Group B posts and 2 posts in Group C of Naib Tehsildar in the UPPCS- 2021 examination. The preliminary exam was held in October last year and the results were declared on December 1, 2021. The written examinations for the UPPCS-2021 were held in March this year and interviews started last month.

The order was passed by the single judge bench of Justice Sangeeta Chandra on Tuesday in the writ petition moved by four Junior Commissioned Officers praying for implementation of the U.P. Act No. 14 of 2021 [the UP Public Services (Reservation for Physically Handicapped, Dependents of Freedom Fighters and Ex-servicemen) Amendment Act 2021] in its letter and spirit in the ongoing UPPCS-2021 selection process.

As per the 2021 Amendment, a 5% reservation was provided in Public Services on all posts other than Group A posts, on and from the date on which the amendment was published in the Gazette. The Amendment Act was notified in the Gazette on March 10, 2021.

It was the petitioners' claim that they would have cleared the Preliminary exam had the UPPSC implemented the 2021 Amendment.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that though after the 2021 Amendment, the Government Order with regard to reservation of ex-servicemen was issued on March 16, 2021,  and the last date for form submission was initially March 5, 2021, but it was later extended till March 17, 2021. 

On the other hand, the counsel for UPPSC argued that the 2021 Amendment was notified on March 10, 2021, therefore it was not applicable to the selection held pursuant to the advertisement for PCS Exam 2021 in which the last date of online submission of application forms was originally March 5, 2021. 

However, the Court held, "The Preliminary examination is only a qualifying examination. The selection process would be deemed to have started As per the explanation given to the terms selection process in the principal act., Only when the main written examination was held on 23 March 2022."

Court quoted Dan Lipinski who once said “on the battlefield the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.”

Court stressed that as the portal of UPPSC was open till March 17, 2021, after the date when the 2021 Amendment was notified, if UPPSC had been careful enough, it could have extended the benefit of Reservation in Group B posts as notified in 2021 Amendment.

Therefore, holding that UPPSC was remiss in faithfully carrying out its responsibility and refused to correct its error even when it had time to do so as the actual selection as per the Principal Act was initiated only on March 23, 2022 when the Main written examination was held, Court quashed the Results declared for Preliminary examination without giving benefit of Reservation to Ex-Armymen and ordered recalibration. 

Case Title: Jwo Satish Chandra Shukla And 3 Others v. State of U.P. and Another