JK High Court orders Probe against Aptech Limited & JKSSB, Cancels all exams

Srinagar : The High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Thursday directed government to constitute a high level Committee headed by “at-least” retired High Court Judge to enquire into the conduct of Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) for “brazen irregularities and illegalities” in appointing a “blacklisted” agency for conducting various examinations.

A single bench of Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal also observed that by its own act of omission and commission, the functioning of JKSSB does not inspire confidence in holding public examinations.

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The High Court Order Read:

The present writ petition has been filed on behalf of the petitioners, who claim to be the aspirants, who have responded to the advertisement for various examinations to be conducted by the Jammu & Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) and the two such examinations are Junior Engineer (civil), Jal Shakti Department and Sub Inspector (Home Department) to which all the petitioners have responded to and applied. The petitioners are seeking direction to respondent No.1 not to conduct the examination through respondent No.2 (M/s Aptech Limited), blacklisted in the past.

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The petitioners have further pleaded that it has been specifically provided in the aforesaid NIT dated 05.09.2022 in Note 4 of Clause 3 that any addendum/corrigendum to the e-NIT, if required, shall be uploaded on

the website www.jktenders.gov.in. It is the specific case of the petitioners that no such corrigendum was issued by respondent No.1 and it was published only in one newspaper namely, “State Times”, which did not have wide circulation.

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Keeping in view the aforesaid peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and for the foregoing reasons, I am of the opinion that the process adopted /decision made by the awarding contract to Respondent No. 2 (M/s

Aptech Limited) is malafide and change of condition in tender was intended to favour Respondent No.2 and these decisions will have an effect on public interest as the Respondent No. 2 has been assigned to conduct examinations, wherein the selectees will be appointed to hold public posts, accordingly this writ petition is allowed and the contract awarded by respondent No.1 in favour of respondent No.2 pursuant to e-NIT No.19 of 2022 dated 30.09.2022 for conduct of its various examinations through computer based tests mode is quashed. Consequently, all the exams viz Junior Engineer-civil (Jal Shakti Department) and Sub Inspector (Home Department) held by respondent No.1 through respondent no. 2 in furtherance of the aforementioned “award of contract to conduct examinations” are also set aside/cancelled at whatever stage they are as on date.

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