Patna, Sept. 9: A single bench of Patna High Court today ordered the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) to constitute a panel of experts to review the question papers and the model answer sheets of the preliminary exam before proceeding to the next level — conducting the mains.
The bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi issued the order while hearing the petitions filed by 54 candidates challenging the BPSC’s decision to announce the results of the preliminary exam after abruptly deleting eight marks from 150.
Additional advocate-general Lalit Kishore submitted before the court that the commission had no objection to re-examining the question papers and model answer sheets by a fresh panel of experts.
The petitioners had demanded cancellation of the result of the 53rd to 55th Common Combined (Preliminary) Competitive Examination 2011. They also sought re-examination.
Out of 1.35 lakh candidates appearing in the preliminary exams, around 15,000 candidates were declared successful by the commission in the combined (53rd to 55th) civil services examination (prelims).
The bench of Justice Tripathi on August 16 had directed BPSC not to conduct the mains of the civil services examination till petitions demanding fresh examination for the preliminary test were disposed of. The court also posted the matter for hearing on November 14.
An advertisement for BPSC preliminary exam was published on January 1, 2011. It invited applications for 53rd to 55th Common Combined (Preliminary) Competitive Examination 2011. The preliminary exam was conducted on April 17. The result was published on July 16.
Several candidates who failed to make it to the list approached the court on the issue. The petitioners said the commission had illegally deleted eight questions out of 150 asked in the exam and declared results on the basis of 142 questions. The petitioners maintained that they would have automatically qualified in the examination if the results were declared on the basis of 150 questions.
The petitioners claimed that the answer booklets supplied by the commission had several defects. The multiple choices (answers) given against some questions were totally wrong but the commission published the result on the basis of such erroneous questions and answers, they said. They maintained that the act of declaring results on the basis of only 142 questions instead of 150 by the commission was totally arbitrary, illegal and mala fide.
Some aspirants alleged large-scale anomalies in declaration of results and violation of the reservation policy of the state government.
According to Ajay Kumar Gupta, who appeared in the BPSC preliminary test, the question number 91 stated: “Congress passed the Swaraj resolution in the year 1905. The purpose of the resolution was what.” Gupta said: “The correct answer to the above question should have been ‘to serve self-rule’, but the question was removed by the commission, as it considered the question wrong.”
Another question was: “When was Madras Mahajan Sabha established?”
Rajmohan Mitra, who also had appeared in the preliminary test, said: “Though the correct answer was given in the options, it was also marked as a wrong question by the commission.”
BPSC holds combined civil services examination every year. This year, BPSC conducted the 53rd, 54th and 55th examinations for recruitment of officers under the state civil service examinations at a single go.