A high-scoring candidate, whose Paper III in Group I exam was invalidated owing to the wrong guidance given by the invigilator, now stands a chance to be posted as Deputy Collector after the Madras High Court asked the government to look at the possibility of creating an additional post. The candidate, now a DSP, had scored 575 out of 600 in the other two papers.
As per the case, A Babu Prasanth, who had become a DSP through the Group I exam held by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC), had appeared for the exams held in 2016 to qualify for the post of Deputy Collector.
He appeared for the main exam in October 2017. During the paper III exam, he had struck out a few answers that were wrongly written without reference to the relevant page allotted to the question. The invigilator instructed him to put his signature.
The candidate initially refused to do so on the ground that it would result in his disqualification. However, the invigilator insisted that he signed on the page where he struck out the answer. Left with no option, he put his short signature.
Thereafter, he made representations to TNPSC that he was forced to put his signature due to the insistence of the invigilator. But he failed to make it to the final list due to this. He then approached the court, asking it to allow him to participate in the selection process as he had been disqualified for no fault of his.
The judge noted that this was an extreme case where the court was caught in a very delicate position. “On the one hand, the court finds that the petitioner deserves to be considered for selection and on the other hand, this court is not able to give any positive relief to the petitioner due to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case. However, this court cannot express its helplessness and deprive the petitioner of an opportunity to be considered for selection,” he said.
“The invigilator was aware of the fact that no signature must be put in the answer sheet and if the petitioner had really put his full signature in the pages that was struck out by him, the invigilator should have left it as it is since, anyway, the paper will be invalidated,” Justice Anand Venkatesh added while directing the Government to provide the petitioner a chance for selection as deputy collector.