HC bats for UPSC ranker who missed deadline

The Delhi High Court has come to the rescue of Anu Kumari, second position holder of last year’s UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), who missed the deadline for submission of her zones and cadre preferences online by 29 minutes.

A Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Rekha Palli directed the Commission to consider the preference cited by Ms. Kumari in her form for purposes of allocation of zones and cadre.

It noted that Ms. Kumari “who has achieved a second place in the All India ranking, would be faced with a bleak situation where her merit will be given a complete go-bye since her preferences would be treated as nil”.

Till 2016, preferences of cadre were obtained from candidates before sitting for the Civil Services (Main) Examination when they were required to fill in the Detailed Application Form (DAF).

However, the procedure was changed for the CSE 2017 when the candidates were told to fill in their choice of cadre and zones only after the result of the Civil Services (Main) Examination was announced.

In its verdict, the Bench made a special mention of Ms. Kumari’s triumph against odds in achieving the second position in the All India ranking of the CSE.

Single mother

Ms. Kumari belongs to a lower middle class family in Haryana’s Sonipat. She stays with her retired father, mother, three siblings, and her four-year-old son.

The primary source of their income is agriculture. Immediately after completing her higher education in 2008, she started working in the private sector to support her family.

In 2012, she got married but due to personal differences, she is said to be presently residing with her parents along with her son, who she is supporting as a single parent.

The Bench noted that Ms. Kumari, who was working on a full-time basis, “strived hard to prepare and participate in the CSE, 2017”.

Ms. Kumari’s “triumph against odds makes an inspirational story, likely to ignite thousands of dreams beating in the hearts of several women across the country, who would aspire to emulate or even surpass her achievement,” the Bench remarked.

Commenting on the “grossly skewed ratio of representation of woman in the IAS”, the bench said, “There is only one woman IAS officer for every 20 male IAS officers”.

“Thus, as of now, the laudable object of “gender balance in the workforce” sought to be achieved by the respondents [government], remains a pipe dream for myriad reasons,” the Bench remarked.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 10:19:30 PM |

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