The Supreme Court Monday issued notices to the central and Chhattisgarh governments on a plea seeking an independent inquiry into the alleged lapses in selection of civil judges in the state in 2008.
The petition, moved by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), sought court monitoring of the probe by an independent agency.
The supreme court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice H.L. Gokhale issued the notice as counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for CPIL, told the court that a lot of irregularities, manipulations and corruption came to surface in the evaluation of an examination for recruiting judges.
The court also issued notice to the registrar general of the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur. The civil judge exam 2008 was conducted by the high court.
“A close scrutiny of the answer sheets of the candidates obtained under the RTI (right to information) Act indicates the large scale irregularities in the civil judge exam – 2008,” the petition said.
Seeking fresh exams, the CPIL pleaded for the quashing of the exam for civil judges (entry level) held in 2008 and the selection made thereafter.
Referring to a news report, the petition said that the “most of the selected candidates are sons, daughters and close relatives of judges, politicians and bureaucrats and prima facie a lot of irregularities, favouritism, and other anomalies” in the exam were reported.
The alleged irregularities were committed by disregarding the high court’s instruction which mandated the evaluators to record the marks in words along with digits.
The petition said that “the scrutiny of answer sheets of two successful candidates, who happen to be the siblings of Radhey Shyam Sharma, legal secretary of the Chhattisgarh government, indicates that the marks have been awarded only in numerals, not in words”.
In another case, allegedly involving the niece of former law minister of Chhattisgarh, marks in the answer sheet were altered “in order to favour her”.
The scam came to light on the RTI application of unsuccessful candidate Rashmi Nanda Sep 27, 2008.