The Supreme Court on Wednesday sustained the Delhi government's decision of 2016 to cancel the selection process of the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board held in 2014-15.
The division-bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R. Shah rejected the rulings passed by the Delhi High Court and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), and stated that recruitment to public services should command ‘public confidence.'
The case, Sachin Kumar & Ors. v. Delhi Subordinate Service Selection Board (DSSSB) & Ors., before the Court was regarding the cancellation of Tier-I and Tier-II examinations conducted by DSSSB for the designation of Head Clerk among 231 vacancies in the Service Department-II, GNCTD.
On receiving complaints of irregularities and malpractices regarding the selection process, the Delhi government formed two committees over the course of time to examine the allegations.
The first committee held that the procedure indeed consisted of severe irregularities, including cheating and impersonation in Tier-I as well as Tier-II examination.
The second committee was assigned to discern and verify the candidates that were to be considered to eliminate impersonation, which resulted in all candidates to be verified.
The Delhi High Court, on appeal, decided to uphold CAT's resolve to reject the cancellation of DSSSB recruitment process.
However, it held that relief would be granted to the six candidates who had appealed to the Tribunal challenging the annulment of recruitment. Further, the six candidates were asked to appear for the Tier-II examination again.
On examining the appeal against the High Court verdict, the Supreme Court observed that both High Court and CAT had made an error by only emphasising on the report of the second committee and setting aside the Delhi government's concern to repeal the selection process.
The DSSSB authorities emphasised on why the entire recruitment process need not be cancelled, to which the Court responded saying,
'So long as there is sufficient basis to contend that mass-scale irregularities have occurred, this Court need not indulge in a roving inquiry to rule out all possible explanations and alternative scenarios where such irregularities would be justified.'
The bench further stated that since the selection process is heavily competitive, there may still be persons who may try to ‘bend the rules to gain an unfair leap' in the competition further observing that such irregularities would bring about misconceptions regarding equal access to all, thus endangering the sanctity of the process.
The Court, thus held the Delhi government's decision to cancel the selection process, directing the authorities to take the required measure to prevent such mishaps in the future.
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