Daulatrao V Rane Sardessai and two others, who were selected by GPSC, had approached the court seeking a direction to the government to accept the recommendation of the GPSC for nine vacancies. The government, in its cabinet meeting on May 23, 2012, had taken the decision not to accept the recommendations by the GPSC in view of a large number of complaints made regarding irregularities for the selection of the candidates for the post.
During the hearing of the case, senior advocate S D Lotlikar and Nitin Sardessai, who appeared for the petitioners, argued that the petitioners have gone through the entire process and were selected and recommended by the GPSC to be appointed to the posts. They submitted that the entire process was not only in accordance with the prescribed procedures, rules and regulations, but was also fair and just, and no interference with the same was called for or justified. The lawyers contended that the decision of the government not to accept the recommendation was arbitrary and without any valid or cogent reason.
The government, on the other hand, pointed out that it had received various complaints regarding irregularities in the selection process. Thereafter, the government ordered an investigation. The government disagreed with the process of not first stipulating the cut-off mark or benchmark in selecting candidates to appear for the interview. This was also contrary to the internal rules and procedures of the GPSC, the government pointed out.
The advocate general argued that the very concept of a competitive examination requires a passing mark/percentage to be stipulated, and the absence of a minimum passing mark has the possibility of burdening the government with under-qualified if not incompetent persons. He further added that the GPSC was not entitled to take recourse to the method of shortlisting adopted by them. The advocate general submitted that the entire selection process is vitiated on account of the GPSC having shortlisted candidates though the rules and regulations did not confer power upon or authorize the GPSC to do so.