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HSSC answer sheets can be cancelled for smudging: HC

October 09, 2018 07:04 AM


HSSC answer sheets can be cancelled for smudging: HC
Conditions Clearly Mentioned In Admit Card: Commission


The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that if an answer sheet of a competitive examination conducted by the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) is found to be smudged with double marking and even erasing fluid, the recruiting agency can cancel it.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Krishan Murari and Justice Arun Palli passed these orders while dismissing an appeal filed by Sheel Kumar, a resident of Jhajjar district in Haryana, to challenge HSSC decision of not evaluating his OMR sheet on the ground that there were marks of erasing and it was smudged.

The petitioner had appeared in a written examination conducted by HSSC for the post of clerk and had erased/smudged the answer to question number 81 on OMR sheet in violation of instructions given by the HSSC in admit card. Accordingly, his OMR sheet was not evaluated and candidature rejected.

Responding to the petition, the HSSC had argued that in the admit card, there was a condition stating that candidates are warned not to fold, tear, destroy or make any stray marks on the OMR answer Sheet. Use of eraser, nail, blade, white fluid/whitener etc. to smudge, scratch or damage in any manner on the OMR sheet during the examination was strictly prohibited. Once it was made clear to the candidates, the candidates cannot challenge their rejection subsequently, the HSSC had argued.

Satisfied with the commission’s contentions, a single bench headed by Justice Ritu Bahri had dismissed his petition on August


The single judge had relied on the judgment rendered in a case titled ‘Anshu and Others versus State of Haryana and others’ in which the apex court had also affirmed that smudged answer sheets cannot be evaluated.

Not satisfied with the decision, the petitioner had filed an appeal before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Krishan Murari. In its order, released last week, the Chief Justice’s bench observed that once the issue stands settled the same is liable to be rejected, no illegality is reflected from the impugned judgment of single judge dismissing the writ petition and the same does not require any interference.


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