Bhubaneswar, Jan 19: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the Odisha government and Odisha Staff Selection Commission(OPSC) in connection with the Assistant Section Officer(ASOs) recruitment Exam.
It was revealed following the admission of a petition on alleged irregularities in the process of the ASO recruitment exam conducted recently by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC).
Earlier the Orissa High Court endorsed OPSC notification, shortlisting 1,104 candidates as part of the process for recruitment of 796 ASOs in Group B posts of the Odisha Secretariat Service.
After admitting the case filed by one of the eligible candidates who was affected by the recent recruitment process, the SC has issued directions to the Odisha Government, OPSC and other parties, related to the recruitment asking them submit reply within four weeks time.
Earlier on December 22, a division bench of the Orissa High Court comprising, Acting Chief Justice BR Sarangi and Justice MS Raman termed the May 19, 2023, order of a single judge bench, which had quashed the merit list and directed the OPSC to draw a fresh one, as “absolutely misconceived” and directed for resumption of the selection process.
Meanwhile, Rajat Mishra and four others, who were not among the finalists, challenged the introduction of cut-off marks in different subjects for preparing the merit list. Hearing it, a single judge bench of Justice AK Mohapatra quashed the merit list on May 19, 2023, and directed the OPSC authorities to prepare a fresh merit list based on aggregate marks and notify them within two months. Later, on July 31, Justice Mohapatra also confirmed the quashing order while rejecting a review petition.
Two separate writ appeals were filed by Kabita Jena and Satyabrata Nayak, who were among those shortlisted in the merit list, and another writ appeal by OPSC challenged the order of the single judge.
In response, the OPSC had pleaded that the shortlist of the candidates was prepared on the basis of subject-wise qualifying marks or aggregate qualifying marks, as mentioned in the advertisement for the recruitment exam.
Worth mentioning, the written examination for the ASO recruitment was conducted by the OPSC on August 27, 2022, for recruitment of 796 ASOs in Group B of Odisha Secretariat Service. While 1,48, 888 candidates appeared the examination, OPSC had notified a merit list of 1,104 candidates for document verification and skill test.