Haryana Judicial Services Exam paper leakage controversy: SC refuses to transfer petition to Delhi HC

Published on 13 Sep 2017 by Team

A major controversy surrounding the question paper leakage of the Haryana Judicial Services Exam was agitated before the Supreme Court today by way of a transfer petition.

The transfer petition, filed by one Suman, contained some serious allegations against a sitting judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court. The petitioner prayed for shifting of the case pending in the Punjab & Haryana High Court to the Delhi High Court.The petition, which was drafted and filed by Advocate Aljo K Joseph, came up for hearing before a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. The court, however, declined to entertain the same asking the petitioner to exhaust the remedy before the High Court.The petitioner then chose to withdraw the petition which was allowed.

Picture Courtesy- HindustanTimes

The petition alleges that the issue is not limited to the issue of leakage, but is a “case of package deal up to the interview and final selection”.The issue came to light when the petitioner got in touch with one Sushila, who leaked questions for the exam. The petitioner initially did not believe that the questions of such a prestigious exam could be leaked.However, she got in touch with Sushila to elicit the truth and was shocked when she appeared for the preliminary exam to find that the questions disclosed by Sushila were present in the question paper. The husband of the petitioner made a complaint to the Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court on the administrative side.

Petitions in Punjab & Haryana High CourtSubsequently, the petitioner moved the Punjab & Haryana High Court seeking registration of a case and a probe into the allegations.

The matter was initially heard by a single judge, who issued the notice to the Registrar (Recruitment) of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on August 16.  The Court asked him to file a reply stating as to who was responsible for handling the question papers.On August 28, the Court examined the results of the preliminary exam – submitted to it in a sealed cover – and found that Sushila and another candidate, Sunita, through whom the petitioner came to know of Sushila, had topped the exam.

The Court, therefore, stayed the declaration of results of the exam. It also observed that the matter should be investigated at a much higher level since it involves not just leakage of the prelims question paper but involves discrepancies in the main exam and the interview.The Court, therefore, adjourned the case to enable parties to file their responses.

The petitioner goes on to state that after the order was passed, members of Recruitment Committee met the Acting Chief Justice SS Saron in his chambers. Justice Saron then proceeded to list the case before a 3-judge Bench, considering the gravity of the case and it's public importance.The 3-judge Bench then heard the matter twice – on August 30 and September 6.

On September 6, the OSD (Vigilance) Punjab & Haryana High Court filed an affidavit stating that Recruitment Committee considered the matter and resolved that the matter is looked into by the Registrar Vigilance. It was also stated that the in-house inquiry is yet to be completed since Sunita was yet to appear before the committee, as she was admitted to a hospital in Delhi.

The petitioner then chose to file a transfer petition in the Supreme Court.In the transfer petition, the petitioner has raised the apprehension that there is a possibility of the in-house inquiry being prejudiced since the Recruitment Committee is headed by a judge of the High Court.The petitioner has also cited the hurried manner in which the Acting Chief Justice passed an order withdrawing the case from the single judge and posting it before a 3-judge Bench, contending that the single judge had almost reached the bottom of the matter and was about to finally decide the same.

The matter was listed for hearing at 3.30 pm today before the Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.The Supreme Court refused to entertain the same, stating that the petitioner can approach it after the High Court decides the matter.

The petitioner chose to withdraw the petition, which was allowed by the Court.

( Source- PTI )

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