• SC asks Delhi HC to take steps to prevent allegations of favoritism in judicial exams

    April 15, 2016

    The Supreme Court, on Thursday, began hearing the case related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Judicial Service (Mains) Exam 2014. The judicial exam has allegedly fallen prey to favoritism and thus a case was registered, which has gone up to the apex court for the hearing. The Supreme Court, after hearing and investigating the case, directed the Delhi High Court have a look into the suggestions given by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation for improving the exam system in the future and to prevent any allegation of favoritism as well.

    The controversy surfaced when 65 sitting judicial officers flunked the test while relatives and in some cases children of sitting High Court Judges passed with flying colors. Seeing this irregularity, the apex court ordered a re-evaluation of the exam papers and came to a rather contrasting conclusion. The report stated that although most of evaluation returned the same, around 12 candidates papers were evaluated slightly incorrectly and these 12 candidates should have passed the exam. On March 4 a former judge of the Supreme Court Justice P V Reddy had submitted to the apex court a report after examining the answer papers of those who did not clear the 2014 Delhi Judicial Service (Mains) Exam. Though 12 more candidates were found to be eligible, he had however concluded that there was nothing majorly unfair about the valuation.

    A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had assigned the task to Justice Reddy after a petition filed by Center for Public Interest Litigation alleged that there were several irregularities and discrepancies in the evaluation and kin of several sitting judges of the Delhi High Court were favored.

    On a plea by Bhushan and senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde who appeared for one of the unsuccessful candidate, the court had also allowed them to peruse the report and file their responses by March 10.
    The exam which was held in the Capital, 64 district judges from outside Delhi failed despite quite a few having topped their respective state judicial service exam, while candidates who were allegedly the relatives of sitting Delhi High Court judges cleared the exam.

    Only 15 candidates cleared the DJS 2014 Mains exam despite there being more than 570 vacancies in the Delhi lower judicial service. Advocate ADN Rao, the standing counsel for Delhi High Court, told the apex court that there was “nothing unusual in selecting few candidates and it has happened earlier also”.


    Discrepancies at the highest level of selecting Judges are not to be taken lightly. These Judges are future Supreme Court Judges and High Court Judges and they might just be the ones to decide in the future, how and what really the word “justice” and “law” stand for. Favoritism is really a word that should not be in the dictionary of the invigilators of exams such as these. The onus is on the Delhi High Court to make sure that this does not happen in the future and that instances such as these are not repeated again. After looking into the case, the Supreme Court should also take action against the invigilators who examined the papers incorrectly.

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