New Delhi, July 16: A decade-old selection to the state civil services by the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission has come under the scanner of the J&K High Court.

Taking note of allegations of nepotism and irregularities in the selection process, a division bench of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Rajnesh Oswal summoned the entire records of the selection in a sealed cover, The Economic Times reported. If the records are not produced within a week, the commission’s secretary will have to appear in court through videoconferencing.

The petitioners, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat & others, alleged that most of the candidates who were shortlisted for interview during the 2009-10 recruitment process were related to members of the commission or senior officers in the then state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Citing one such alleged instance, the petitioners said: “One of the candidates whose parents were senior-level officers serving in the then state at that time, was appointed one year after the initial appointments were made, showing that on rechecking of answer sheets he got 135 marks in a geography paper though initially he had scored only 35 marks.”

According to the petition, this candidate “had not even applied for rechecking within the time permitted”.

Initially, when a number of candidates applied for rechecking, the commission had said that there was no change in the marks secured by any of the candidates, the petitioners claimed.

The high court has asked the commission to “clearly flag”, in its record, the answer sheets of the candidate whose marks were increased from 35 to 135. The order was given on July 10, but a copy of the order was made available only on Tuesday.

In March, a single-judge bench had dismissed the petitions terming those as “grossly misconceived”. The commission had rebutted the allegations of nepotism and irregularities levelled by the petitioners. The single-judge bench had then admonished the petitioners for seeking a “roving enquiry into the unfounded and unsupported allegations”.

The petitioners appealed against the order before the division bench. The petitioners alleged that close relatives of the members or officers of the commission were “favoured” in the interview. They claimed that the marks awarded to those who opted for Kashmiri literature were deliberately reduced and the marks awarded by the evaluators were changed by the commission.

The commission, in its response before the single-judge bench, had stated that those members had recused themselves from the interview on the dates their relations were interviewed.

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