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Cancellation of exams by TRB to select lecturers for polytechnics set aside
The Madras High Court has set aside the order a single judge in the principal bench upholding the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) decision to cancel the exam held to recruit lecturers for State-run Polytechnic Colleges for the academic year 2017-18 owing to malpractice involved by 196 candidates out of the 13.3 Lakh candidates who participated.
A division bench comprising Justice K K Sasidharan and Justice P D Audikesavalu said, "When it is possible to separate the tainted candidates from the non-tainted, the Board was not correct in cancelling the examination and the entire selection."
"The Board without making any attempt to separate the tainted from non-tainted, abruptly cancelled the entire selection. In fact, the certificate verification was done partly, and it was only at that point of time certain reports appeared regarding the alteration of marks in the scanned images of the OMR (Optical March Recognition) Sheets. The Board on apprehension that its name would also be tarnished, immediately cancelled the entire selection process without considering the case of the candidates, who were not party to any such malpractices," the bench added.
Also, noting that the single Judge at the Principal Bench while dismissing the writ petitions virtually overruled the views taken by a co-ordinate Bench, said "It is not as if that it would be difficult to follow the views taken by the single Judge at Madurai Bench on account of the contrary views taken by the Supreme Court."
"The Supreme Court also held that if it is possible to segregate the tainted candidates from non-tainted, there is no need to cancel the entire selection. The Judge therefore ought to have referred the matter to the Chief Justice for posting it before the Division Bench," the bench added.
Thereafter, the bench in its order also directed the Board to reject the candidature of 196 candidates who were accused of tampering with the scanned images of the OMR Sheets and take out the remaining OMR Sheets in original of the non-tainted candidates and proceed further with the selection process. “The entire exercise relating to selection, including the issuance of orders of appointment by the Government, should be completed by 30 April 2019," the bench said.