The Madras High Court bench here on Tuesday directed the secretary of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission to file a counter affidavit to a petition filed by a candidate, who appeared for the Group I services exam, alleging that the selection process was not transparent.

The petitioner, C. Cynthia Mabel of Tiruchi, claimed in her petition that she belonged to the backward community and had secured 354 marks (out of 600) in written and oral examinations conducted in July 2012 and February 2013 for the selection of candidates to Group I services.

According to the petitioner, her name was missing from the shortlist of selected candidates released by the TNPSC on February 6, 2013. The names of candidates, belonging to the backward community, who had scored lower marks featured in the list, but the petitioner’s name was omitted, she had alleged.

Mrs. Mabel claimed that the TNPSC did not follow the vertical and horizontal reservation as announced in its notification calling candidates for the selection. The list of selected candidates was random and not based on rank or reservation, she alleged. The selection process was vitiated because it lacked transparency, she contended.

Therefore, she prayed that the court quash the shortlist released on February 6. The court had earlier ordered notice to the TNPSC secretary seeking his response in the case. The joint secretary of the TNPSC filed a counter on behalf of the secretary.

But Justice Nagamuthu refused to accept the joint secretary’s counter. The TNPSC secretary, M. Vijayakumar, appeared before the judge on Tuesday and submitted his explanation. The judge adjourned the case by three weeks.