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Question on Extension of Uploading EWS Certificates Deadline for Civil Services Examination: Supreme Court issues Notice on UPSC’s Plea

Question on Extension of Uploading EWS Certificates Deadline for Civil Services Examination: Supreme Court issues Notice on UPSC’s Plea
Various Special Leave Petitions had been filed pleading for extension of the deadline for uploading the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) Certificates in order to avail reservations under the said category. A notice on the same was issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on Thursday (February 18, 2021) responding to the question. 

The matter was heard by a bench comprising Justices Rohinton F. Nariman, BR Gavai and Hemant Gupta. The bench went on to issue a notice on the SLPs along with the prayer for interim relief which is returnable in three weeks. It has obligated the Respondents to file a Counter Affidavit within the following three weeks. 

The SLPs challenged an order dated September 11, 2020, which was furnished by a Delhi High Court Division Bench comprising Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh. In the said order, the Court of law had upheld an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) dated January 13, 2020. 

The main contention before the CAT was that the concerned authorities were unaware of the procedure for the issuance of the EWS Certificates, owing to the newly passed 103rd Amendment of the Constitution. This amendment recognised EWS as a separate category to avail benefits of reservation for the first time in Indian history. 

Due to the same irregularity and confusion in procedure the candidates could not get their certificates issued well within the time frame, i.e, before August 1, 2019. The CAT accepted their submission and directed the date set forth to be extended to August 16, 2019. Nonetheless, the prayer for further extension of the stipulated date for obtaining the certificates was dismissed. 

Following this, the High Court was approached by the aspiring candidates as well as UPSC challenging the order of the CAT. The same order of the CAT for extension of deadline till August 16, 2019 was upheld. The contention of the candidates for further extension was rejected. 

The High Court also noted the significance of not interfering with the process of one of the most significant examinations once everything comes into motion, as also highlighted by the Supreme Court. 

"It is true that there may be difficulties at individual level in obtaining the EWS certificates but the common public interest demands that the dates fixed for any important examination like CSE-2019 should not change and the same should be respected otherwise it will open flood gates for candidates to approach the learned CAT or higher courts at the drop of a hat at every stage of civil services examination to interfere with or to postpone the dates of submission of forms or examination and to claim other related reliefs and no finality can be attached to the said examination process or the dates prescribed for the same till the last moment, which will jeopardise careers of hundreds of young men and women, who aspire to join this service and work hard to attain their life-cherished goal".

The court also went on to state that the training of the selected candidates had to be started after the allocation of cadre, therefore, the dates could not further be postponed. 


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