July,26,2015: The 2014 Delhi Judicial Service (DJS) examination, already under a cloud over allegations of favoritism, has run into further trouble.
The Rohini Court Bar Association has now written to the Chief Justice of the Delhi high court G Rohini, terming the DJS a "Scam" and has demanded an inquiry into how the relatives of two sitting HC judges cleared the exam while other toppers failed to even make it to the interview stage.
It also wants the two judges to be posted out of the capital so that an independent and thorough probe can be conducted "into the Scam."
A chorus of complaints against DJS—meant to select and appoint judges to man Delhi courts—in June had led the Union law minister Sadanand Gowda to shoot off a letter to the Chief Justice, stressing the need to investigate the allegations. Among other things, the complaints highlighted that despite 80 vacancies, only 15-odd students were declared qualified, with some of them being directly or indirectly related to the judges. The available records revealed that at least 65 sitting judicial officers from 11 states failed the exam, raising more questions about the evaluation process.
The list of unsuccessful candidates included 10 toppers who had held first or second rank in their states as well as some who had cleared the judicial services exams in more than one state.
According to the records collated from these states — Jharkhand, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand — only two serving judicial officers, one each from Haryana and Jharkhand, were able to make the cut.
Earlier in a letter dated May 14, Noted Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan had expressed his bewilderment over the results declared on May 1 2015, which showed that of the 659 candidates who appeared for the exam for the post of a Delhi judge, only 15 — a little more than 2 per cent — were declared successful.
“Such results show that there is a serious problem with the evaluation method…this kind of selection process will demotivate several other meritorious students…students with good academic records would never appear in the exams having such an unreasonable selection method,” stated the letter. He requested the Chief Justice to put the declaration of final result on hold till answer sheets are re-evaluated “by adopting fair and reasonable standards, by persons of unquestioned fairness, so that meritorious and suitable candidates could be selected for the notified vacancies.”
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, had also written to Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, seeking his intervention into the matter. In his letter to Gowda, Yadav has stated,”Some unsuccessful candidates have approached me to request for re-evaluation of their exam sheets alleging favouritism in this exam. I am informed that the answer sheets were evaluated by those sitting judges whose close relatives took the exam.”
Calling it as a “very serious issue”, Yadav said the issue of corruption in judiciary needs to be debated for some concrete solutions otherwise it will be a grave “threat to our democracy”. “In view of this, I shall be grateful if the re-evaluation of answer sheets of all successful candidates be ordered so that justice is done with these candidates,” Yadav had said in his letter.
The topper and another successful candidate are daughters of sitting Judges of Delhi High Court, which conducted the Exam.
In this backdrop the Rohini Bar Association wants the HC to order a probe saying "this Scam has been recurring/continuing in the examination of DJS since long." It pointed out that "DJS examinations are held by Delhi HC in which question papers are set by judges, answer sheets are evaluated by judges and interview is also held by judges, the appointment is finally done by the HC judges."
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