New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by UPSC aspirants seeking an extra attempt for civil service candidates who had exhausted their last attempt in October 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar refused to grant one-time relaxation on the age limit to UPSC civil service aspirants who had exhausted their last attempt in 2020.
The students pleaded in the apex court to grant one more chance as they could not prepare for the exam due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Centre had agreed to give extra chance this year provided they were "not age barred".
The Centre had however said it was against granting the last attempt to candidates who have exhausted their last attempt in 2020 as it would be discriminatory to other candidates.
The plea sought an extra attempt in the UPSC exams for those candidates who had their last attempt in the preliminary exam held in October 2020 and could not appear in the exam this year due to the age bar. It also sought an extra opportunity for students who could not appear for civil service exams due to COVID-19.
The Centre during the hearing had said that it has agreed to give an extra chance to those candidates who had exhausted their last attempt in October 2020, however, the Centre's relaxation was subject to the condition that such candidates should not be age-barred.
The candidates who appeared for the Civil Service Examination (CSE)-2020 as their last permissible attempt will be allowed one more extra-attempt specifically limited to CSE-2021 "provide they are not otherwise age-barred from appearing in CSE-2021", the Centre had told the court.
Centre has added that the relaxation for the candidates shall be a one-time relaxation only and shall apply only for appearing in CSE- 2021 and not be treated as a precedent.
On September 30, the Supreme Court had directed the Central government and the UPSC to consider granting an extra chance to candidates who otherwise have their last attempt in 2020, with a corresponding extension of the upper age-limit.
The Department of Personnel and Training on October 26 had informed the Supreme Court that the issue regarding grant of extra attempt to last chance candidates was under the consideration of the authorities. (ANI)