New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to issue directions to the Centre and the UPSC to grant an extra attempt to aspirants, who exhausted their last attempt at the prestigious civil services exam in October last year.
"The petitioners have made an unsuccessful attempt of persuading us to take a view that the issue raised in the present writ petitions is not covered by the decision of three judge Bench of this Court dated February 24, 2021 in Rachna & Ors vs Union of India & Anr...," the bench said in its order.
A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna said: "Although, we may have full sympathy with writ petitioners and similarly placed students, for the difficult situation and the resultant consequences they may suffer, but the issues raised by them, in our opinion, are covered by the decision of this Court in Rachna & Ors. (supra)."
Though the writ petitioners argued that they form a separate class - as they were forced not to appear in the examination on the given dates on account of directions issued by the local authorities under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the aprx court noted that the only indulgence that can be shown to the petitioners, including the applicants, is to allow them to make representation to the appropriate authority, who may consider all aspects of the matter and take a lenient view in the light of the prevailing situation at the relevant time.
"We are not expressing any opinion either way with regard to the feasibility of resolution of the issues so raised. All aspects in that regard are left open," said the bench, disposing of the petitions.
"Instead of appealing to us, why not appeal to the authority that made the policy?", the top court asked.
Counsel, appearing for some of the petitioners, argued the judgment in the Rachna case dealt with only those candidates who had given the examination in 2020, and did not cover those who could not appear in the exam due to Covid-related difficulties and became age-barred for the 2021 exam.