The Allahabad High Court on Thursday quashed an advertisement published by the Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment and Promotion Board (PRPB), in which the eligibility criteria for the preliminary written examination for the posts of sub-inspectors (SIs) and platoon commanders (PCs) of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) were changed last year after the recruitment process had begun.
The court also directed that the results of the preliminary written examinations, declared on January 1, 2013, be modified to the extent that the candidates who would have passed as per old criteria should be declared successful for the next round.
It directed the Director General of Police and PRPB to ensure that the newly declared successful candidates were accommodated in physical tests that are underway.
Disposing of a bunch of petitions, the lead petition being that of Sanjeev Kumar Gautam and others, a single judge bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal set aside the advertisement which was published on November 24, 2011.
The PRPB had announced vacancies for 4,010 posts of SIs and PCs on May 19, 2011. The candidates were to appear in a preliminary written examination “pertaining to various topics like general knowledge, law and order, police functioning and Constitution, besides reasoning and aptitude”, with total marks of 200. As per the advertisement, those scoring at least 50 per cent overall marks were to be declared “successful”.
However, on November 24, 2011, another advertisement said the candidates will have to score at least 40 per cent marks in all subjects “besides scoring a total of 50 per cent” for being eligible to go to the next level.
“Our contention was that the examination process had begun once the applications were invited in response to the advertisement published in May 2011. The eligibility criteria could not be changed midway through an examination cycle,” said Vijay Gautam, counsel for the petitioner.