The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to consider the representation of students challenging the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examination through private vendors and pass a reasoned order in six weeks. The top court asked the petitioners to approach the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) secretary within a week and give appropriate representation. A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said if necessary, the DoPT secretary along with members of the SSC, shall give oral hearing to the petitioners to raise their grievances. “A reasoned order shall be passed within six weeks dealing with the issues raised by the petitioners and containing suggestions for elimination of the problems,” the bench said. It posted the matter for further hearing in the second week after the court reopens following summer vacation.
During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Shantanu Kumar, said the SSC Combined Graduate Level Examination was being outsourced to a private vendor, which has allegedly been accused in connection with the Satyam scam. He said there was high probability of cheating and malpractices as the private vendor entrusted for the conduct of examination by SSC has further outsourced it in some centres. The bench observed that the basic problem for the smooth conduct of examination was at the ground level and said it wanted a reasoned order either accepting or rejecting the suggestion or reforming it.
On March 20, the apex court had dismissed a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the SSC paper leak case after the Centre informed it that the probe agency has already started investigating it. The leak of an examination paper of the SSC, a government body which conducts examinations to recruit staff at multiple levels in various ministries and departments, was allegedly leaked, had led to protests from job seekers. Amid the protests, the SSC had recommended a CBI probe into it following the demands by the protesting job aspirants. SSC CGL has a four-tier examination system and tier I and tier II are Computer Based Examination, while in tier III and IV, job applicants take up a descriptive paper and a computer proficiency test or skill test.