Bhopal : The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday cancelled the results of the State Services Examination (SSE) 2019, conducted by the MP Public Service Commission (MPPSC).
Setting aside a new rule by the state government restricting meritorious candidates of the reserved category to their respective quota seats, it has directed the MPPSC to conduct the exam and complete the recruitment process according to previous rules.
In their 89-page order, the bench of Justices Sujoy Paul and Dwarkadhish Bansal held the state government’s February 17, 2020 amendment to the MP State Services Examination Rules 2015 as ultra vires.
“Resultantly, the recruitment process must be conducted and completed in consonance with the unamended examination rules of 2015,” it said.
The examination rules of 2015 were amended by the government in February 2020, paving the way for separate category-wise merit lists of successful candidates. This meant that the meritorious candidates of scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST), other backward classes (OBC) and economically weaker section (EWS) categories could not be selected for unreserved seats despite getting equivalent marks as unreserved candidates.
Nearly 60 MPPSC aspirants had challenged the state government’s rule in the High Court.
Despite the matter being in court and the state government ready to change the contentious rule, the results of the SSE 2019 preliminary and mains examination were declared by the MPPSC in December 2020 and December 2021, respectively following this rule. Currently, the MPPSC is conducting interviews with the candidates selected from the mains exam.
This issue was put before the court, hearings were completed on March 31 and orders were reserved. On Thursday, the detailed orders were issued.
“The court held that the February 2020 rules brought of the MP government were in violation of the Indra Sawhney judgment of Supreme Court (of 1992) where it was clearly mentioned that the meritorious students of reserved category shall be migrated to open category seats,” said Rameshwar Singh Thakur, one of the advocates representing nearly 60 petitioners in the matter.
The MPPSC, in November 2019, had advertised 571 vacancies including those of posts in state administrative and police services, Finance and Revenue Departments and others. After the preliminary results, an objection was taken to the fact that the MPPSC had issued a list of 3,613 successful candidates in the general category for 137 vacancies – far exceeding the rule of ,15 times the seats’. Later, while declaring the mains results, the MPPSC amended the number of unreserved vacancies to 203 and the total number of vacancies to 637.