Plea in Supreme Court challenges internet suspension in Rajasthan for conduct of Civil Services exams

  • Gautam Mishra
  • 02:46 PM, 08 Nov 2021

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the order dated October 26, 2021 passed by the Office of Divisional Commissioner, Jaipur - suspending internet in Jaipur and several other Districts to conduct the Rajasthan Administrative Services (Prelims) Examination on October 27, 2021.

The plea states that "In lieu of this examination, the above mentioned order has been passed stating that internet will be shut down from 9 am to 1 pm to minimise the chances of cheating/copying in the scheduled examination."

The petition filed by Advocate Vishal Tiwari stated that the suspension of the internet shows the incompetence of the Rajasthan State Government and Rajasthan Public Service Commission.

It is alleged that "Such imposition of internet shut down is manifestly against the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety Rules), 2017 and such order imposing shut down goes against the dictum laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India."

Tiwari has further submitted that "the directions to suspend the telecom services should be made by the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs in the case of Government of India and for the State Government such order can be passed through by the Secretary to the State Government in-charge of the Home Department and during unavoidable and emergency situations, such order can be issued by the officer not below the rank of the Joint Secretary to the Government of India, who has been duly authorised by the Union Home Secretary or the State Home Secretary as the case may be."

The plea also mentioned that the actions of the State has also been extremely humiliating for the female candidates, whereas, various news and reports have shown that various examination centers particularly in Bikaner where male security guards are cutting the sleeves of a female candidate in the entrance of the examination center. Such act of humiliation has also been cited as the prevention mechanism against cheating and malpractice.

It has sought direction to all the respondents not to Obstruct the Judicial Services, Virtual Court Hearings/ E- Filings of cases by Suspending the Internet services in the future.

In addition to this, the petitioner has further sought direction to all the respondents for not adopting the dignified methods towards the female candidates and other candidates during conducting examinations in their respective States.

Case Title: Vishal Tiwari Vs. Union of India & Ors.