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HC sets aside results of Group-1 Mains examination

Court directs APPSC to revert to manual evaluation of answer sheets

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has set aside the results of Group-1 Mains examinations held in December 2018 and directed the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission to do manual evaluation of answer sheets in “conventional mode”, within three months.

Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu gave his ruling after hearing a bunch of petitions against the digital evaluation of the answer sheets.

The judgment is expected to bring some relief to many aspirants who felt they had been denied justice by the digital evaluation of their answer scripts by third party. Petitioners had argued that the decision to hand over the conduct of Mains exam and evaluation procedure to a third party private agency had done gross injustice, and questioned the rationale behind the decision of APPSC to give up its constitutional duty to conduct, evaluate and recruit to a private organisation.

The petitioners also highlighted in the writ petition the validity of experience of the private organisation in handling a governmental recruitment examination, and sought to know the method in which the private organisation trained the evaluators, what parameters have been applied, etc,.

The High Court made some key observations while giving the order. Justice Somayajulu said that a change in evaluation of answer sheets was not correct and added that while scripts were manually scanned and not evaluated was not borne by record. The decision to opt for digital evaluation by a seven-member Board was not correct as per the law.

“Young aspirants are toiling hard dreaming of a government job .. With great power comes great responsibility,’’ said the order.

The Group-1 Examination notification was given in December 2018 and the preliminary examination was held on May 26, 2019. The Mains Examinations were held during December 14-20, 2020 and the results were declared on April 28, 2021. The interviews were scheduled to be held on June 17, 2021, when the High Court issued an interim order staying the interviews.

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