The Supreme Court on 1 August 2017 dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), in which a petitioner sought grace marks or removal of alleged wrong questions given in the UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2017.
The petition, filed by Ashita Chawla - a law student as well as a UPSC aspirant, was dismissed by a 3-Judge Bench consisting of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and Khanwilkar.
In the dismissal order, the bench declared that the Court has not found any merit in the petition. And, further noted that the petitioner, who wrote the exam, had not given any representation to the UPSC in this regard.
The bench also observed that the UPSC Civil Services Exam is the highest-level exam and candidates taking it are expected to go by the books rather than the views of researchers.
Representing the UPSC, Senior advocate P S Patwalia said that the expert panel had found no ambiguity in the question paper.
In July 2017, the Supreme Court admitted a Public Interest Ligitigation (PIL) filed by Ashita Chawla. The PIL (Case No. 000564/ 2017) is listed for hearing on 1 August 2017 by a 3-Judge Bench consisting of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and Khanwilkar.
In the PIL, the petitioner contended that the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam had questions with multiple answers and many were open to subjective interpretation of the examinees. To remedy the things, Chawla asked the apex court to direct the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to release the answer key and also set up an expert committee to examine the papers of the exam, which were conducted on 18 June 2017.
In her petition, Chawla mentioned previous Supreme Court judgements that ruled that questions having two or more corrects answers should be considered as incorrect.
Chawla also submitted keys released by various coaching institutions that differed in about 10-12 questions.
Besides, the petitioner also said that the standard of question papers has seen a marked decline over the past two years.