Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to permit another batch of petitioners to write the Group I services main examination to be conducted on August 16 and 17.

In his order disposing of writ petitions, Justice P. Jyothimani said the petitioners were entitled to collect their hall tickets from the TNPSC office on or before 5 p.m. on August 14. The Judge made it clear that allowing the petitioners to write the examinations did not mean that their right to appear for the final examination had been recognised by the court.

In her writ petition, R. Sheela Rani of Lawspet, Puducherry, submitted that in the preliminary examination, the Commission assigned wrong key answers to at least six of the objective type questions. She belonged to the Scheduled Caste and the cut-off mark declared for the community women was 178.5 marks. By self-valuation, she should have scored more marks than the declared cut-off. She fell short by three marks and hence did not qualify for the main examination.

She prayed the court to treat her as having passed the preliminary examination by rectifying the wrong key answers assigned to the six questions.

In the order, Mr. Justice Jyothimani said the answer papers of the final examinations of the petitioners should be kept separately in a sealed cover without referring for valuation. All petitioners were permitted to individually represent to the Commission on or before 5 p.m. on August 14 bringing out specific instances of mistakes in the question papers or in the key answers, provided such questions had been attempted by the petitioners concerned. They should disclose their name, register number, question numbers etc.

The Commission should place the entire issue before the Experts Committee to be constituted by it for verification. In the event of the committee deciding that the questions attempted by the individual petitioners were either wrong or some mistakes had crept in, necessary marks should be given to the petitioners concerned.

After completing the exercise, the Commission should decide about the petitioners’ entitlement to write the main examination based on the cut-off mark issued. Thereafter, it should direct valuation of the final exam papers of the petitioners alone. The answer papers of those petitioners who do not get the required cut-off mark need not be valued.