UPSC: SC Dismisses Aspirants’ Plea Seeking Extra Attempt in 2021

On 9 February, the Centre had told the apex court that it was against granting a one-time relaxation on age limit.

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India
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 24 February, dismissed a plea filed by aspirants, seeking an extra attempt in the UPSC civil service exams for those who exhausted their last chance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the plea.

WHAT DID THE PETITIONERS WANT?

According to Bar and Bench, the petitioners had sought an extra attempt for the UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2021, contending that they failed to appear for the UPSC CSE Prelims 2020 due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senior Advocates Shyam Divan, CU Singh and PS Narasimha, appearing for the Petitioners, had, according to Bar and Bench, claimed that not granting the relaxation in the age-bar would be arbitrary and unreasonable.

“COVID has drastically changed their position. The IAS aspirations will be totally done away with. They will now be completely excluded.”   
PS Narsimha   

BACKGROUND

According to PTI, on 9 February, the Centre had told the apex court that it was against granting a one-time relaxation on age limit to UPSC Civil Service aspirants, including those who had exhausted their last attempt amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The central government had reportedly contended that doing so would be discriminatory to other candidates.

However, it had said that those candidates who were not otherwise age-barred from appearing for the exam in 2021 will be allowed one more extra-attempt, limited specifically to the exam in 2021.

According to Bar and Bench, the note filed by the Centre, said:

“Relaxation, only to the extent of providing one extra attempt for Civil Service Examination (CSE), specifically limited to CSE-2021, may be granted to only those candidates who appeared for CSE-2020 as their last permissible attempt and are otherwise not age-barred from appearing in CSE-2021.”   

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