Public Services Commission Vs. Subhash Chandra Dixit & Ors  Insc 553
(5 November 2003)
Balakrishnan & B.N. Srikrishna.
APPEAL NOS. OF 2003 [Arising out of S.L.P.(C) Nos 207, 208, 3758 & 6295 of
2003] [Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No. 23723 of 2002] K.G. BALAKRISHNAN, J.
of these appeals have been preferred by the Uttar Pradesh Public Services
Commission (hereinafter called as "U.P.P.S.C.") challenging the
judgments rendered on 3.10.2002 and 11.12.2002 by the Division Bench of the
High Court of Allahabad in Civil Miscellaneous Writ Petitions.
U.P.P.S.C. conducted various competitive examinations and in these
examinations, the U.P.P.S.C. applied a system of scaling of marks awarded by
the examiners who valued the answer papers. The system of scaling of marks was
invoked in the U.P. Civil Judge (Junior Division) Examination held in August
2000, the result of which was published on 25.1.2001. Some of the candidates,
who could not secure selection in the examination assailed the examination
system adopted by the U.P.P.S.C. mainly on the ground that the introduction of
scaling of marks was arbitrary and illegal. Their plea was accepted by the
Division Bench and by judgment dated 3.10.2002, the Division Bench set aside
the merit list prepared by the U.P.P.S.C. in respect of the Civil Judge (Jr.
Division) Examination, 2000 and directed that the merit list be prepared afresh
on the basis of actual marks secured by the candidates without applying the
formula of scaling. SLP (Civil) No. 23723 of 2002 is filed against that
U.P.P.S.C. held examination for the Provincial Civil Services (Executive
Branch), Main Examination, 2001 and Provincial Civil Services (Executive
Branch) Preliminary Examination, 2002. In both these examinations, U.P.P.S.C.
applied the system of scaling. The results of these two examinations were also
challenged on similar grounds and the Division Bench set aside the final merit
list prepared by the U.P.P.S.C. in respect of these two examinations.
(Civil) No. 207 of 2003 is in respect of Provincial Civil Services (Executive
Branch) Main Examination, 2001 and SLP(Civil) No. 208 of 2003 arises out of the
examination of Provincial Civil Services (Executive Branch), Preliminary
remaining two appeals arising out of SLP (C) No. 3758 of 2003 and SLP(C) No.
6295 of 2003 have been preferred by candidates aggrieved by the aforesaid
judgments of the High Court.
first, we shall consider the SLP (Civil) No. 23723 of 2002 in respect of Civil
Judge (Jr. Division) Examination, 2000. The U.P.P.S.C. advertised for selection
of 147 posts of Civil Judge (Jr. Division) Examination, 2000. The examination
consisted of written tests and viva voce. Total marks for written examinations
were 850. 100 marks were assigned for viva voce. The details are as follows:-
Present day Paper-I 150 marks
Substantive Law Paper-II 200 marks
Procedural Law Paper-III 200 marks
Criminal & Revenue Law Paper-IV 200 marks Language I & II
English to Hindi & Vice Versa Paper-V 60 marks
Hindi to Urdu & Vice Versa Paper-VI 40 marks Total 850 marks 4270
candidates appeared for the examination.
each of the subjects in the written examination, there were around 14 examiners
and each of them evaluated about 300 answer sheets, except in language papers. U.P.P.S.C.had
earlier held similar examination for Civil Judge (Jr. Division) for selection
of Judicial Officers in 1997 and 1999. According to the U.P.P.S.C., there was
wide disparity in awarding marks by the various examiners in respect of the
same subject. The answer sheets were randomised before being given to
examiners. The randomisation was done at three stages, namely, at the stage of
allotment of roll numbers, allotment of centre and at the time of distribution
of answer sheets to the examiners for evaluation. U.P.P.S.C. received
representation from several quarters to adopt a scientific method of evaluation
of marks awarded by different examiners in respect of common papers. It was
noticed that the different examiners adopted different yardsticks to award the
marks to the candidates.
the candidates were left at the whims of the examiners. The gross disparity
between two sets of examiners resulted in injustice to some of the candidates
and therefore a check was required. It was noticed that the marks awarded by
two different sets of examiners required to be scaled in accordance with
certain universally accepted method. U.P.P.S.C. considered the different facets
of scaling system and appointed a three-member committee to carry out an
in-depth study of the scaling system. The members of this committee consisted
of Professors from reputed universities. U.P.P.S.C. considered the
recommendations made by the expert committee and on 7.9.1996 accepted the
report of the Committee. U.P.P.S.C. resolved to apply the formula of scaling
and thereafter, it was made applicable to the PCS Preliminary Examination, 1996
and also in PCS Main Examination held in 1996.
the utility of the scaling system, the U.P.P.S.C. decided in its meeting on
13.10.1999 to apply the scaling pattern for all the examinations conducted by
them. In the case of Civil Judge (Jr. Division) Examination, 2000, the answer
sheets were randomised in order to avoid duplicity or any possible mischief.
The marks awarded by each examiner were considered and scaled in accordance
with the formula adopted by the U.P.P.S.C. The said formula was based on
opinion of experts on the subject and accordingly the result was published by
the U.P.P.S.C. The merit list published by the U.P.P.S.C. was challenged by the
respondents in SLP (Civil) No. 23723 of 2002 on the ground that the scaling
system adopted by U.P.P.S.C. was confusing, arbitrary and without any reasonable
basis. It was alleged that arbitrary marks were awarded to certain candidates
in the name of scaling system to provide undue favour to them. It was contended
that the U.P.P.S.C. had not disclosed the guidelines and criteria adopted in
implementing the scaling system and, therefore, it was arbitrary and
unjustified. It was also contended that several candidates had been awarded
less than 40% marks without any basis whereas several other candidates who had
secured lesser marks in the written tests were awarded more than 60% or 70%
Division Bench considered the various contentions raised by the respondents as
well as the U.P.P.S.C. and held that the application of scaling was not
justified nor supported by any valid statutory permission. The Division Bench
was of the opinion that where selection was to be made on comparative merit,
the adoption of any such process which had the effect of adding marks to the
actual score of the candidate, was destructive of the system whereas the
objective was to select a small number of best candidates on the basis of their
merit out of thousands who had appeared in the examination.
Division Bench also held that the U.P.P.S.C. had no power under Rule 51 of the
U.P.P.S.C. (Regulation of Procedure and Conduct of Business) Act, 1974 to
invoke the scaling system. Rule 51 says that the merit list shall be prepared
after adding the marks of interview/personality test with the marks secured by
the candidates in the written examination. The Division Bench was of the
opinion that the expression 'marks obtained by the candidates in the written
examination' meant the actual marks awarded by the examiner.
P.P. Rao, learned Senior Counsel, appeared on behalf of U.P.P.S.C. in SLP(Civil)
No. 23723 of 2002 and Shri Rakesh Dwivedi, Senior Counsel appeared on behalf of
the respondents. Additional Solicitor General, Mr. R.N. Trivedi appeared on
behalf of the appellants in SLP(Civil) No. 207 of 2003 and SLP(Civil) No. 208
Dwivedi contended that the system of scaling adopted by U.P.P.S.C. with respect
to the competitive examination of Civil Judge, [Jr. Division] is
unconstitutional as it has been enforced without any corresponding amendment in
the U.P. Nyayik Sewa Niyamavali, 1951 [for short "Niyamavali 1951"]
and the examination for selection of Civil Judge [Jr. Division] should have
been conducted in accordance with the procedure prescribed in that Niyamavali
and any deviation therefrom would be illegal. The counsel further contended
that any of the provisions contained in the U.P. Public Services Commission
(Regulation of Procedure and Conduct of Business) Act 1974, which are contrary
to the provisions of the Niyamavali 1951, cannot be applied for the selection
of Judicial Officers in the State of Uttar Pradesh as the U.P. Public Services
Commission Act, 1974 is not an enactment made in accordance with Article 234 of
the Constitution of India as there was no consultation with the State Public
Services Commission and the High Court. It was further contended that even if
Rule 51 of 1974 Act permitted the U.P.P.S.C. to adopt scaling of marks, the
same should not have been applied in the case of selection of Judicial
P.P. Rao, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the U.P. Public Service
Commission contended that Article 320 of the Constitution gives ample power to
the Public Service Commission to conduct the selections of candidates and such
power of the Public Service Commission to conduct the examinations for
appointment to the services of the Union and States is not subject to any of
the provisions contained in the Constitution and that it is the constitutional
duty of the State Public Service Commission to conduct such examinations in a
free and fair manner.
order to understand the rival contentions raised by the parties in this case,
it is necessary to refer to various provisions in the Constitution as well as
the two enactments, namely, the Niyamavali 1951 and the U.P. Public Services
Commission (Regulation of Procedure and Conduct of Business) Act, 1974 which
regulates the conduct and procedure of examinations.
234 of the Constitution reads as under :
Recruitment of persons other than District Judges to the judicial service. ---
Appointments of persons other than District Judges to the judicial service of a
State shall be made by the Governor of the State in accordance with rules made
by him in that behalf after consultation with the State Public Service
Commission and with the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to such
State." In accordance with the above Article of the Constitution, Niyamavali
1951 was enacted and in the preamble it is mentioned that in exercise of the
power conferred under Article 234 and the Proviso to Article 309 of the
Constitution of India, the Governor in consultation with the U.P. Public
Service Commission and the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, makes the
rules regulating the recruitment to posts in, and the condition of service of
persons appointed to the Uttar Pradesh Nyayik Sewa. Part II of the Niyamavali
1951 deals with the strength of the service. Part III deals with the procedure
for recruitment to the service and Rule 6 thereof says that recruitment to the
service shall be made on the basis of the result of a competitive examination
conducted by the Commission. Rules 10, 11 and 12 of Part IV deal with the
eligibility criteria and academic qualifications. Rule 15 of Part V deals with
the procedure for recruitment. It reads as under :
Competitive examination -- The examination may be conducted at such time and on
such dates as may be notified by the Commission and shall consist of ---
examination in such legal and allied subjects, including procedure, as may be
included in the syllabus prescribed under Rule 18;
examination to test the knowledge of the canidates in Hindi and Urdu; and
interview to assess the all round student career of the candidates and their
personality, address and general suitability." Part VI, Rule 19 deals with
appointment, probation and confirmation.
19 reads as follows :
of candidates approved by the Commission The Commission shall prepare a list
of candidates who have taken examination for recruitment to the service in
order of their proficiency as disclosed by the aggregate marks finally awarded
to each candidate. If two or more candidates obtain equal marks in the
aggregate, the Commission, shall arrange them in order of merit on the basis of
their general suitability for the service.
that in making their recommendation, the Commission shall satisfy themselves
that the candidate has obtained such an aggregate of marks in the written test
that he is qualified by his ability for appointment to the service." The
U.P. Public Service Commission (Regulation of Procedure and Conduct of
Business) Amendment Act, 1976 was passed by the legislature of the State of Uttar Pradesh and it received the assent of the
Governor on May 19,
1976. This Act lays
down the general guidelines in respect of the procedure and conduct of business
of the U.P. Public Service Commission. The various provisions in this Act deal
with the method and manner in which the competitive examinations are to be
conducted. Chapter II deals with the composition of the Commission and as to
how the meetings of the Commission are to be arranged and stipulates that the
Chairman and in his absence the senior-most member present shall preside over
the meetings of the Commission. Rule 11 of Chapter II says that the decisions
of the Commission, as far as may be, shall be unanimous. Chapter III deals with
the provisions as to how interview/viva voce is to be conducted. Chapter IV
prescribes as to how the written examinations are to be conducted by the
Commission. Rule 26 says that the Commission shall prepare a panel of examiners
for each subject in which the Commission holds examinations or may constitute a
Committee for the purpose and that different committees may be constituted for
different subjects and the reports of the Committee shall be laid before the Commission
for approval. The Commission may make such alterations or additions as it may
deem fit in the panels prepared by the Committee. No officer of the Commission
shall be placed on the panel of examiners and the panels so prepared and/or
approved by the Commission shall be reviewed by it from time to time. The panel
of examiners shall be a secret document and it shall be kept in safe custody by
the secretary under seal and shall be submitted to a Member or the Commission
on requisition. Examiners shall be appointed by the Commission from the panels
made in accordance with the rules. Rule 28 says that the question papers set by
the examiners shall be placed before the Commission to ensure conformity with
the required standard of examination. The commission may moderate the question
papers or constitute a committee to perform the work of moderation on their
behalf. Rule 29 says that the Commission shall conduct examination for the
various posts to be filled by competitive examination and that the Commission may
hold combined competitive examinations for selection to various posts under the
purview of the Commission. Rule 30 provides that the Commission shall advertise
the vacancies for which selections are to be made and invite applications from
eligible candidates. Applications received in response to advertisement shall
be scrutinized by the office in the manner prescribed by the Commission. Rule
31 says that no candidate shall be admitted to the examination unless he has
duly applied on the prescribed form and has deposited the prescribed
application/examination fee within the prescribed time. The Commission is not
empowered to accept advance applications from candidates on plain piece of
paper and no application received after the last date fixed for receipt of
applications shall be accepted. Rule 32 says that all eligible candidates
shall, subject to provisions of the rules, be admitted to the examination. Rule
33 provides that the Commission shall fix the place, date/dates and time of
examination and the centres, with the prior approval of the Commission. Rule 34
says that the Secretary shall prepare a list of the persons suitable to be
appointed as invigilators and shall get the same approved by the Commission.
Rules 35 to 52 deal with the detailed procedure as to how the answer books are
to be sent to various examiners and valued by them. Fake roll numbers shall be
allotted to each candidate in each paper before the answer books are despatched
to the examiners for assessment. Time limit is prescribed for return of the
answer sheets after evaluation. The Secretary shall take steps for tabulation
of marks obtained by each candidate as soon as scrutiny of scripts has been
done. The Commission has to make random checking of the tabulation to ensure
the correctness and accuracy of tabulation as well as of assessment of answer
books. It is the responsibility of the Commission to ensure correct tabulation
of marks and correct restoration of original roll numbers of the candidates.
The Commission shall decide the number of candidates to be called for interview
to appear before a board of boards on any day. On each day after the interview
is over and marks are awarded to each candidate, the mark sheet prepared in
duplicate shall be placed in separate sealed covers and the original will be
sent to the Secretary to be kept under his safe and secret custody.
51, which is relevant for the purpose reads as follows:
The mark sheets so obtained shall be opened on the last day of interview and
immediately thereafter the marks of interview/personality test shall be added
to the marks obtained by the candidates in the written examination. Thereafter
on the basis of the totals so obtained, the merit list shall be prepared and
placed before the Commission for final declaration of the result.
that the Commission may, with a view to eliminating variation in the marks
awarded to candidates at any examination or interview, adopt a method, device
or formula which they consider proper for the purpose." The contention of
the learned counsel for the U.P. Public Services Commission is that the Proviso
to Section 51 gives ample power to the Commission to adopt a scaling system to
find out the most suitable candidates for selection and the marks awarded to
the candidates could be varied by adopting such a system, whereas the
contention of the respondents' counsel is that Rule 19 of Niyamavali 1951
expressly says that the Commission shall prepare the list of candidates in the
order of their proficiency as disclosed by the aggregate marks finally awarded
and it was argued that the marks finally awarded means the marks assigned by
various examiners to each of the candidates and it does not mean the marks
assigned to the candidates after the scaling system is applied.
question, therefore, that arises for consideration is whether the U.P. Public
Service Commission can adopt the scaling system by invoking the power conferred
under Rule 51 of the 1976 Amendment Act in view of Rule 19 contained in Niyamavali
1951. Of course, Niyamavali 1951 was made by the Governor in consultation with
the U.P. Public Services Commission and the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
by virtue of the powers conferred by Article 234 of the Constitution. Whereas
the provisions of the 1976 Act are general guidelines for the U.P. Public
Services Commission, it is not an enactment made in consultation with the High
Court. Nevertheless, the provisions of 1976 Act are applicable for the purpose
of conducting examination for recruitment of Judicial Officers in the State of
Uttar Pradesh. The expression 'aggregate marks' used in Rule 19 of the Niyamavali
1951 can only be construed as the final marks awarded after the scaling system
is applied. Certainly the Proviso to Rule 51 of 1976 Act gives ample power to
the Commission to adopt any method, device or formula to eliminate any
variation in the marks awarded to the candidates. The various provisions
contained in 1974 Act deal with the method and manner in which the examinations
are to be conducted. The Niyamavali 1951 deals with only general provisions
regulating recruitment to the posts and the conditions of service. Niyamavali
1951 does not deal with the method and manner in which the examinations are to
be conducted. Various steps and procedures have to be adopted in completing the
recruitment for which detailed procedure has been laid down. This procedure is
not part of the Niyamavali 1951.
not think that the Proviso to Rule 51 is in any way in conflict with Rule 19 of
Niyamavali 1951. The aggregate marks can only be considered to mean as the
total marks finally obtained by the candidate after the complete valuation
process is over. The dictionary meaning of 'aggregate' is thus:
whole formed by combining several disparate elements;
total score of a player or team in a fixture comprising more than one game or
or calculated by the combination of many separate units or items.
contention of the respondents' counsel is that Niyamavali 1951 is a complete
Code in itself and the selection process shall only be done in accordance with
the provisions contained therein. This plea cannot be accepted as the Niyamavali
1951 only gives the special rules concerning Subordinate Judicial Service in
the State of Uttar Pradesh whereas the U.P. Public Service Commission
(Regulation of Procedure & Conduct of Business) Amendment Act, 1976 gives
guidelines for any recruitment to be made by U.P.P.S.C. All these provisions
are applicable to a recruitment made to Judicial Service also.
counsel for the respondents made reference to three decisions of this Court and
contended for the position that if the recruitment is made in contravention of
the rules framed under Article 234 of the Constitution, the same shall be void.
Umesh Chandra Shukla vs. Union of India & Ors. (1985) 3 SCC 721 is a
decision concerning the recruitment to the post of Subordinate Judges in Delhi
Judicial Service. There, a competitive examination was held and 27 candidates
qualified to be eligible for viva voce test. A list was published by the High
Court and the Full Court approved the list of the 27 qualified candidates. As
per the rules, only such candidates would be called for viva voce who had
obtained 50 per cent marks in each of the written papers and 60 per cent in the
aggregate, excepting the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
Tribes in whose case the marks prescribed were 40 per cent in each of the
written papers and 50 per cent in the aggregate. The Selection Committee called
for viva voce only such candidates who had qualified written test as provided
in the appendix. The Selection Committee noticed that some of the candidates
who had otherwise secured very high marks, had to be kept out of the zone of
consideration for final selection by reason of their having secured one or two
marks below the aggregate or the qualifying marks prescribed for the particular
paper. So the Selection Committee decided that moderation of two marks in each
paper to every candidate shall be done.
view of the decision of the Selection Committee, instead of 27 candidates, 31
candidates were called for interview. This was challenged by some of the
candidates and this Court struck down the selection and held that the list
prepared by the committee after moderation of marks is liable to be struck
of any marks by way of moderation to the marks obtained in any written paper or
to the aggregate of the marks in order to make a candidate eligible to appear
in the viva voce test would indirectly be an amendment of clause (6) of the
Appendix to the Delhi Judicial Service Rules, 1970 which is of mandatory
nature. Such amendment to the rules can be made under Article 234 only by the
Lt. Governor after consulting the High Court in that regard.
above decision, minimum marks were prescribed for viva voce.
the candidates who were later included in the list by the selection committee
had not secured the minimum marks to be qualified for viva voce.
selection as such was done contrary to the rules of recruitment. This decision
has no application to the case in hand. There is no case that the selection to
the posts of Civil Judge (Jr. Division) was held in contravention of any of the
rules made under Article 234 of the Constitution. As regards the appendix, the Niyamavali
1951 gives the various subjects and the qualifying marks for each subject.
There is no case that these rules have been violated.
already noticed, rule 19 of the Niyamavali 1951 also is in no way violated in
the present selection process.
decision relied upon by the respondents' counsel is Durgacharan Misra vs. State
of Orissa & Ors. (1987) 4 SCC 646. The Orissa Judicial Service Rules did
not prescribe the minimum qualifying marks to be secured at the viva voce test
for selection of Munsifs. As per the Rules, the Commission shall add the marks
of the viva voce test to the marks in the written examination and then the
merit list is to be prepared on the basis of the aggregate marks secured by the
candidates. The list so prepared is to be forwarded to the State Government.
The Commission had no power to exclude the names of any candidates from the
selection list merely because he has secured less marks at the viva voce test.
Contrary to these Rules, the Commission prescribed the minimum marks for viva
voce test and prepared the merit list. This Court held that the Rules have been
framed under the Proviso to Article 309 read with Article 234 of the
Constitution in consultation with the High Court and the appointments of
persons to the Judicial Service of the State shall be made in accordance with
these Rules and the Commission shall select the candidates in accordance with
these rules and it cannot prescribe additional requirements either as to
eligibility or as to suitability and the decision of the Commission prescribing
the minimum marks to be secured at the viva voce test was held to be illegal
and without authority. This decision has no application to the facts of the
present case. In that case, the selection was made against the Rules framed by
the Governor under Article 309 read with Article 234 of the Constitution. Here,
no such rules have been violated and as already noticed, there was no violation
of Rule 19 of the Niyamavali 1951.
was also made to the decision of this Court in State of Bihar Legislature
passed an enactment providing reservation to the extent of 50 per cent for
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs in the Judicial Service.
enactment was passed under Article 309 of the Constitution treating the
Judicial Service as part of the State Service. Majmudar, J., speaking for the
majority of the Constitution Bench, observed that 'Judicial Service' only
earmarks the Members of that service and their appointment is to be made under
the rules made under Article 309 read with Articles 233 and 234 of the
Constitution and that any scheme of reservation foisted on the High Court
without consultation with it directly results in truncating its power of
playing a vital role in the recruitment of eligible candidates to fill up the
vacancies and hence such appointments of reserved posts would remain totally
ultra vires of the scheme of the Constitution. This decision also is of no
assistance to the respondents.
important to note that under Article 320 of the Constitution, the Union and the
State Public Service Commission has been conferred with ample power to conduct
examinations for appointment to the services of the Union and to the services
of the State. Of course, the power conferred on the Public Service Commission
shall not be used arbitrarily. Similarly, powers of superintendence, direction
and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls, for, and the conduct of,
all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State have been
vested with the Election Commission. While considering the parameters of the
powers of the Election Commission, this Court in Mohinder Singh Gill & Anr.
vs. The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi & Ors. 1978(2) SCR 272
observed as under:
so, situations may arise which enacted law has not provided for. Legislators
are not prophets but pragmatists. So it is that the Constitution has made
comprehensive provision in Article 324 to take care of surprise situations. That
power itself has to be exercised, not mindlessly nor mala fide, nor arbitrarily
nor with partiality but in keeping with the guidelines of the rule of law and
not stultifying the Presidential notification nor existing legislation.
Article 324, in our view, operates in areas left unoccupied by legislation and
the words 'superintendence, direction and control' as well as 'conduct of all
elections' are the broadest terms. Myriad maybes, too mystic to be precisely
presaged, may call for prompt action to reach the goal of free and fair election."
The above observation made in the context of Article 324 would equally apply to
Article 320 when it comes to the question of power of the Public Service
Commission. The question, therefore, to be considered is whether the U.P.P.S.C.
has exercised its powers arbitrarily and whether adoption of scaling system was
with ulterior motives to give undue preference to some candidates.
U.P.P.S.C. in its Special Leave Petition as well as the rejoinder affidavit
filed before us has stated in detail as to how the scaling system was applied
and the circumstances which necessitated the adoption of such a formula. At the
outset we must say that the scaling system, which was adopted by the U.P.P.S.C.
was not similar to the scaling system adopted by the Union Public Service
Commission. The system adopted by U.P.S.C. was challenged by certain candidates
in a writ petition before the High Court of Gujarat. The Division Bench of the
Gujarat High Court considered the question in detail in Kamlesh Haribhai Goradia
vs. Union of India & Anr. (1987) (1) GLR 157 and held that the process of
moderation was necessary to find out the merit of the candidates inter se and
the marks cannot be awarded till such uniformity is achieved in the matter of
assessment of the performance of the candidates at the examination. It,
therefore, cannot be said that there is any deviation so that the Commission
would not have any authority or power to moderate the valuation of the
performance of the candidates at the written examination.
instant case also, the challenge of the respondents was that the system of
scaling was unreasonable and arbitrary and thus violative of Articles 14 and 16
of the Constitution.
already noticed, the Proviso to Rule 51 of the UPPSC (Regulation of Procedure
and Conduct of Business) Amendment Act, 1976 gives power to the Commission to
eliminate variation in the marks awarded to the candidates and to adopt any
method, device or formula considered appropriate for that purpose.
system of scaling was intended to remove the disparity in evaluation. In the
case of Judicial Service examination, more than four thousand candidates
appeared. The answer papers were evaluated by 14 examiners. Some examiners were
liberal in awarding marks whereas some others were strict in awarding marks.
The details given along with the Special Leave Petition show the extent of
difference in marks awarded by the examiners. Table 1 on page 47 in SLP(C) No.
3758 of 2002 shows as follows:
Subject Present day Maximum Marks 150 Examiner no.
Scripts Examined Mean marks of the examiner Standard deviation of the marks
allotted Minimum marks Maximum marks After Scaling Mean marks of the scaled
score After Scaling Standard Deviation of the scaled score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1
300 68.50 17.23 10 102 75.00 14.98 2 300 45.91 16.02 0 92 75.01 14.99 3 300
39.39 14.12 2 76 74.98 14.99 4 600 35.07 21.64 0 105 74.99 15.00 5 300 52.16
20.66 0 112 75.00 15.03 6 300 53.55 13.84 7 94 74.97 14.99 7 300 66.17 27.15 8
134 75.00 15.01 8 300 70.09 13.65 0 97 75.04 14.98 9 300 35.94 10.74 9 77 74.96
14.99 10 300 81.74 15.95 25 125 75.02 15.01 11 300 77.45 15.68 26 125 74.99
15.01 12 300 49.98 14.43 11 92 75.03 15.00 13 300 41.16 17.72 3 99 74.98 15.00
14 111 47.82 24.25 4 118 74.99 14.92 There is a vast percentage difference in
awarding marks between each set of examiners and this was sought to be minimised
by applying the scaling formula. If scaling method had not been used, only
those candidates whose answer sheets were examined by liberal examiners alone
would get selected and the candidates whose answer sheets were examined by
strict examiners would be completely excluded, though the standard of their
answers may be to some extent similar. The scaling system was adopted with a
view to eliminate the inconsistency in the marking standards of the examiners.
The counsel for the respondents could not demonstrate that the adoption of
scaling system has in any way caused injustice to any meritorious candidate. If
any candidate had secured higher marks in the written examination, even by
applying the scaling formula, he would still be benefited.
Division Bench of the High Court observed that the process of scaling was done
examiner-wise only and the scaling formula did not take into consideration the
average of Mean of all the candidates in one particular paper but took Mean of
only that group of candidates which has been examined by one single examiner.
The counsel for the U.P.P.S.C. submitted that the observation made by the High
Court is incorrect. The scaling formula was adopted to remove the disparity in
the evaluation of 14 examiners who participated in the evaluation of answer
sheets and the details have also been furnished as to how the scaling formula
was adopted and applied. Therefore, we do not think that the observation of the
Division Bench that the Commission did not take care of varying standards which
may have been applied by different examiners but has sought to reduce the
variation of the marks awarded by the same examiner to different candidates
whose answer sheets had been examined, is correct. The Division Bench was of
the view that as a result of scaling, the marks of the candidates who had
secured zero marks were enhanced to 18 and this was illegal and thus affected
the selection process. This finding is to be understood to mean as to how the
scaling system was applied. 18 marks were given notionally to a candidate who
secured zero marks so as to indicate the variation in marks secured by the
candidates and to fix the Mean marks.
that view of the matter, we do not think that the application of scaling
formula to the examinations in question was either arbitrary or illegal. The
selection of the candidates was done in a better way. Moreover, this formula
was adopted by the U.P.P.S.C. after an expert study and in such matters, the
Court cannot sit in judgment and interfere with the same unless it is proved
that it was an arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power and the selection
itself was done contrary to the rules. Ultimately, the agency conducting the
examination has to consider as to which method should be preferred and adopted
having regard to the myriad situations that may arise before them.
U.P.P.S.C. has applied the scaling formula and prepared the merit list of
various candidates for the three examinations, namely, the Provincial Civil
Services (Executive Branch), Main Examination, 2001; Provincial Civil Services
(Executive Branch) Preliminary Examination, 2002; and the U.P. Civil Judge (Jr.
Division Bench of the High Court was not justified in interfering with the
merit list prepared by the Commission. Therefore, we set aside the judgment of
the High Court and direct that the merit list prepared by the Commission shall
prevail in the case of all the three examinations referred to above. The
appeals are accordingly allowed. Parties to bear their own costs.