Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Dr. AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ disposed of the matter relating to the leakage of question paper of the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary exam conducted on 16.07.2017 after the status report on the progress of the Special Investigation Team formed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court was filed before the Court. The status report showed that the SIT has summoned as many as 20 persons and has recorded their statements.

The Court, hence, noticed that since the High Court has taken up the matter in all earnest in order to find out as to whether there was any leakage in the examination paper or not and has also taken steps as mentioned above, the High Court would be best suited to monitor the investigation which is being carried out by the SIT.

The High Court had, on 18.09.2017, constituted a 3-member Special Investigating Team comprising of Ravi Kumar Singh, IPS, Superintendent of Police (Crime and Investigation); Krishan Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Security & Operation) and Inspector Poonam Dilawari.

It is important to note that on 14.09.2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a public notice stating that it has scrapped the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary Exam held on 16.07.2017 in the light of the paper leak allegations. [Suman v. State of Haryana, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1455, order dated 08.12.2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary exam paper leak controversy, the 3-judge bench of Rajesh Bindal, Tajan Gupta and GS Sandhawalia, JJ, has constituted a 3-member Special Investigating Team comprising of Ravi Kumar Singh, IPS, Superintendent of Police (Crime and Investigation); Krishan Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Security & Operation) and Inspector Poonam Dilawari.

Earlier, the counsel appearing for the High Court had urged before the Court that if the investigation is to be done by a Special Investigating Team then it should be done by senior officers only. Hence, the Court had, on 15.09.2017, asked Randeep Singh Rai, Public Prosecutor, UT Chandigarh to furnish a list of senior officers who can be a part of the SIT.  Consequently, Tejinder Singh Luthra, Director General of Police, U.T., Chandigarh, appeared in person and he, along with Randeep Singh Rai, submitted a list of officers.

On 15.09.2017, the Court had also suspended Dr. Balwinder Sharma, Registrar (Recruitment) after the Recruitment/Promotion/ Court Creation Committee (Subordinate Judicial Services) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, submitted in it’s report that there was, prima facie, material suggesting that he was involved in the paper leak as there were total 760 calls and SMSs exchanged between Dr. Balwinder Sharma and Sunita, one of the canditates who has allegedly leaked the paper, during last one year.

On 14.09.2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a public notice stating that it has scrapped the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary Exam held on 16.07.2017 in the light of the paper leak allegations. The date of re-exam will be notified soon. [Suman v. State of Haryana, CRM-M No.28947 of 2017, order dated 18.09.2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab & Haryana High Court: In the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary exam paper leak controversy, the 3-judge bench of Rajesh Bindal, Tajan Gupta and GS Sandhawalia, JJ, has suspended Dr. Balwinder Sharma, Registrar (Recruitment) after the Recruitment/Promotion/ Court Creation Committee (Subordinate Judicial Services) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, submitted in it’s report that there was, prima facie, material suggesting that he was involved in the paper leak.

On 13.09.2017, it was submitted before the Court that there were total 760 calls and SMSs exchanged between Dr. Balwinder Sharma and Sunita, one of the canditates who has allegedly leaked the paper, during last one year. The Committee had recommended the Court that since atleast two candidates namely Sunita and Sushila had the question papers, the possibility that other candidates may have also had access to the question paper cannot be ruled out and hence, an FIR should be lodged against Sunita, Sushila and Dr. Balwinder Sharma.

The Court, after considering the fact that the exam was held in Chandigarh and the alleged conversations and Transaction also took place in Chndigarh, directed that the FIR be registered in Chandigarh. The Court also made it clear that the investigation in the matter will be done by Chandigarh Police only.

Accepting the contention of the counsel appearing for the High Court that if the investigation is to be done by a Special Investigating Team then it should be done by senior officers only, the Court asked Randeep Singh Rai, Public Prosecutor, UT Chandigarh to submit a list of senior officers who can be a part of the SIT. The Court now hear the matter on 18.09.2017.

On 14.09.2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a public notice stating that it has scrapped the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary Exam held on 16.07.2017 in the light of the paper leak allegations. The date of re-exam will be notified soon. [Suman v. State of Haryana, 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 2340, order dated 15.09.2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In the matter where 2 candidates who had topped the Haryana Civil Services (Judicial) examination in General & reserved category, were alleged to have leaked the paper for money, a 3-judge bench of Rajesh Bindal, Tajan Gupta and GS Sandhawalia, JJ has been formed to adjudicate the matter on urgent basis as the result of H.C.S. (Judicial Branch) Preliminary Examination is held up and the entire recruitment process has been put on hold.

On 28.08.2017, the single judge Kuldip Singh, J had referred the matter to a larger bench, considering the urgency of the matter as there is already shortage of judges in subordinate courts and also the fact that the allegation relates not only to the leakage of the Preliminary Examination paper but to the leakage of the whole package involving the main examination, which is yet to be conducted and for which paper was yet to be set and also the process of interview. The single judge had also asked the Registrar (Recruitment) of the Punjab & Haryana High Court to file an affidavit stating as to who had handled the examination papers right from the time it was set till it was distributed in the examination hall and also disclose the names of the officials/officers, who were deputed in handling and printing of the papers officially and whether anybody else entered the room, where the papers were printed without being deputed for the same.

Consequent to the reference of the single judge, the 3-judge bench sat, on 30.08.2017, to hear the matter but listed it on 06.09.2017 after it was brought into it’s notice that the High Court, that is represented through Registrar General, was, in the order dated 16.8.2017, impleaded through Registrar (Recruitment) and hence, necessary correction would require to be carried out.

As per the results of the preliminary examination that was held on 16.07.2017, the 2 girls, who have allegedly leaked the papers, have topped in the general category and reserved category with exceptionally high marks and both have minimum errors. [Suman v. State of Haryana, CRM-M No. 28947 of 2017, order dated 30.078.2017]