A written examination conducted by the Kerala High Court in May for selecting district judges has sparked off a row with one of the candidates challenging the selection procedure and urging the Chief Justice of India to initiate a probe into the process.

According to a petition submitted by S. Chithan, a lawyer, to the Chief Justice of India, details of which are available with The Hindu, the High Court has failed to abide by a Supreme Court direction on notifying the vacancies annually and conducting the recruitment process in a foolproof manner.

The High Court had issued three notifications regarding the recruitment, on December 20, 2012, and on July 8 and August 27 this year.

As many as 846 candidates had been shortlisted to appear for the written examination conducted on May 11 and 12. The notification issued on July 8 said only five persons had qualified in the test and the interview was fixed at 10 a.m. at the High Court on August 4. But the interview was adjourned without assigning any reason and another notification issued on August 27 said yet another candidate had also qualified in the examination and the interview was deferred to October 1.

Mark lists of the candidates had not been published so far. Though it had been sought under the provisions of the Right to Information Act, it was not provided too.

If the written examination was conducted in a transparent manner, details of the marks too should have been published. The notification on the details of the candidates who qualified for the interview and the one including the new candidate had been issued without publishing the mark lists.

No reason had been attributed for including the candidate in the notification issued 50 days after publishing the list of five candidates, the complaint said.

Moreover, the first notification on the recruitment had stated that there was no provision for revaluation or recounting of marks. This had been cited as an instance of corruption in the selection process. The alleged reluctance in publishing the mark lists had also been questioned by the complainant.

Details of the number of candidates who sat for the examination with their addresses and roll numbers had not been published by the court so far.

Copy of the answer sheets had also not been provided to the candidates who appeared for the examination under the Right to Information Act. In this context, the complainant urged the Chief Justice to initiate a probe.

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