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

While delivering judgment on a petition filed by Vinkal Sharma and others against conducting exams through an agency that was blacklisted earlier, Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal also observed that by its act of omission and commission, the functioning of JKSSB does not inspire confidence in holding public examinations.

"It has become incumbent on all stakeholders to review the functioning of the JKSSB," the Court said and held that process adopted and a decision made by awarding the contract to M/s Aptech Limited is "malafide and change of condition in the tender was intended to favour the agency)."

J&K High Court
J&K High Court

"These decisions will have an effect on public interest as the agency has been assigned to conduct examinations, wherein the selectees will be appointed to hold public posts," the Court said as per judgment and quashed the contract awarded by the government in favour of the agency pursuant to e-NIT (No.19 of 2022) dated 30 September this year for the conduct of its various examinations through computer-based tests mode.

"Consequently, all the exams viz Junior Engineer-Civil (Jal Shakti Department) and Sub Inspector (Home Department) to be conducted through the agency also set aside and canceled at whatever stage they are as on date."

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J&K Govt already cancelled police sub-inspectors, other exams

Notably, during the last couple of months, Jammu and Kashmir government has cancelled three selection lists after inquiry panels detected irregularities and fraud in the recruitment process.

On August 28, the Jammu and Kashmir administration cancelled the recruitment process of Finance Accounts Assistants and Junior Engineers (Civil) and recommended a CBI probe into the selection process.

J&K Govt

It assured all aspirants that those responsible for alleged discrepancies will not be spared and there won't be any compromise on merit.

Earlier, on July 22 the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) cancelled the written examination for the post of Police Sub-Inspector. The Jammu and Kashmir Government has already ordered a CBI probe into the Sub-Inspector recruitment scam.