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Tongbram Bimolchand Singh & Ors. Vs. Yumlembam Surjit Singh & Ors. etc.

[Civil Appeal No(S). 3752-3753/2018 arising from SLP (C) Nos.37281-37282/2017]

KURIAN, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. The appellants are before this Court aggrieved by the interim order dated 20.11.2017 passed by the High Court of Manipur at Imphal directing re-verification of the answer scripts of all the candidates who participated in the selection conducted by the MPSC for Manipur Civil Services.

3. The appellants contended before this Court that it was not necessary to conduct an all pervasive inquiry and the same should be limited to the writ petitioners.

4. In view of the above submission, on 11.01.2018, while issuing notice, the following order was passed by this Court:- "Issue notice. For the time being, the scope of inquiry, as directed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court, shall be limited only to the answer sheets of the candidates who have approached the High Court."

5. Thereafter, this Court directed the Committee appointed by the High Court to submit a Report to this Court. In the Report filed by the Committee, it is stated that there had been quite a few irregularities. In that background, on 23.03.2018, this Court passed the following order:- "The High Court of Manipur has forwarded a report of the Committee, which conducted verification of the answer sheets of the petitioners. It is reported that there have been quite a few irregularities.

If that be so, Sh. Prashant Bhushan, learned counsel appearing for the intervenors, prays that in view of the report of the Committee, reverification may be conducted in respect of other candidates, since the total number of candidates are only 1068. In view of the report of the Committee, whether any further verification is to be conducted at all, is itself a question. The learned counsel appearing for the Manipur Public Service Commission seeks two weeks' time to file response to the report of the Committee and on further course of action. Post on 12.04.2018."

6. Heard Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Additional Solicitor General of India appearing for the State of Manipur, Mr. V. Giri, learned senior counsel appearing for the MPSC, Mr. Debel Kumar Banerjee, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant and Mr. Prashant Bhushan, learned counsel appearing for the party respondents.

7. Having regard to the indications in the Report of the Committee, we are of the view that it is in the interest of justice that the process, as directed by the High Court, should not be disturbed. Accordingly, we dispose of these appeals with a direction to the Committee to undertake the verification, as directed by the High Court, expeditiously, in any case within a period of six weeks from today. Thereafter, the Committee will submit a Report to the High Court and the High Court may dispose of the matter expeditiously, having regard to the Report of the Committee.

8. We make it clear that we have not otherwise considered the appeals on merits and it is for the High Court to consider the merits of the matters.

9. The appeals are, accordingly, disposed of.

10. Pending applications, if any, shall stand disposed of.

11. There shall be no orders as to costs.

.......................J. [KURIAN JOSEPH]

.......................J. [MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR]

.......................J. [NAVIN SINHA]

NEW DELHI;

APRIL 12, 2018.


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