The Supreme Court Thursday refused to scrap the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) combined graduate level examination of 2017, which was marred by allegations of paper leak and malpractices.
The apex court, which had set up a seven-member committee to suggest measures to make entrance exams meant for jobs and admissions in educational institutions foolproof, referred to the panel's report which said it is not possible to record a conclusive finding that entire examination process was "tainted".
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was told by advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner who had sought probe into the alleged paper leak and scrapping of the exam, that as per the CBI report the paper was leaked and there were other malpractices also.
Bhushan told the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, that CBI has chargesheeted the person who was custodian of the paper and had allegedly leaked it in lieu of illegal gratification.
"We will leave the matter to be dealt with by the criminal court. Your argument is that the whole examination should be cancelled. That we are reluctant to do," the bench said.
Bhushan argued that CBI has said that it was not possible to identify each and every candidate who may have benefitted from the malpractices in the examination, which included remote access for computers which were used for online exam.
Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that government had "appointed CBI to hold inquiry in the matter" and the exam was also conducted afresh for the paper which was allegedly leaked.
Nadkarni said the government would accept the recommendations made by the committee, headed by retired apex court judge Justice G S Singhvi.
The other members of the committee are: co-founder of tech giant Infosys Nandan Nilekani, renowned computer scientist Vijay Bhatkar, renowned mathematician R L Karandikar, Sanjay Bhardwaj and a representative each from the Centre as well as the CBI.
On May 9 last year, the top court had paved the way for declaration of results of SSC CGLE-2017 by vacating its stay on it.
The apex court, however, had made clear that declaration of results of examination would be subject to final outcome of the case.
The SSC is a central government body which conducts examinations to recruit staff at multiple levels in various ministries and departments.
Several lakh students appear in SSC examination each year and enter government services in Group C and D Categories of jobs once they qualify.
The SSC Combined Graduate Level exam has a four-tier system, in which tier I and tier II are computer-based, while in tier III and IV, job applicants take up a descriptive paper and a computer proficiency test or skill test.