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Supreme Courtroom inquires Centre whether or not the age of UPSC candidates who gave their final try, be relaxed

The Apex Court asked the Centre if there is a provision to relax the age those UPSC candidates who appeared for their last attempt this year.

The intervenor submitted that the most vulnerable category of candidates is the age-barred group and not giving them a second chance would be arbitrary.

This question came up when non-relaxation of age limit was excluding the SC/ST candidates and handicapped candidates.

The bench asked for suggestions from the intervenor as to how age could be relaxed, to which he replied that the power to relax the age of candidates vests with the Centre and thus must be utilized in order to benefit the most vulnerable category.

The counsel for petitioners highlighted the events when this power was utilized by the Centre in the years 2014 and 2015 to relax the age of candidates who appeared for Civil Services Examination.

The bench, however, expressed their disinclination towards this submission and stated that if permission is given for this exam, other board examinations might also seek similar relief.

The petitioner stated that “last chance candidates” should be treated with homogeneity.

The petitioners also sought relaxation for those candidates who could not access internet for study material and for women who had to change their schedule due to household situations.

The Apex Court observed that such decisions amount to policy decisions, for which the authority rests with Centre.

The Additional Solicitor General was of the opinion that the candidates who appeared for the exam, had the option of backing out in case they felt they couldn’t prepare well.

The bench directed ASG to discuss the matter with the Centre and submit the response. If not, the bench would then be deciding the case on its merits.

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