SC protecting Bihar Judicial Services Aspirants from Arbitrary Rule

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The Supreme Court in the case of Rahul Dutta v.  State of Bihar, struck down Rule 5A of the Bihar Civil Service(Judicial Branch)(Recruitment) Rules 1995, as per which only 10% of the candidates who appear in the preliminary examination will be selected for mains.

The Division Bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha found the Rule to be "clearly arbitrary" and that it "and violates the decision in Malik Mazhar Sultan" "No useful purpose is going to be served by restricting the number of candidates for final written examination", said the Court.

It is also arbitrary and unreasonable as the same substantially restricts the number of candidates to stake their claim in the final examination.


The Court further observed that Rule 5A of the Bihar Civil Services was contrary to the Malik Mazhar Sultan v UPPSC (2008) 17 SCC 703, which held that candidates should be selected for main judicial service examination after preliminary examination in the ratio 1 : 10 with respect to advertised vacancies.


Only 1843 candidates out of nearly 17000 contestants were called for main examination as against 349 advertised vacancies. Applying the dictum in Malik Mazhar, 3490 candidates ought to have been called.

Apart from that there is yet another glaring error in the Rule that no minimum passing marks have been prescribed in preliminary


It is assured by the all concerned stakeholders i.e. State of Bihar, High Court of Patna as well as the Bihar Public Service Commission that they would ensure the minimum passing marks are fixed under the Rules for preliminary examination separately for general as well as for reserved category in a reasonable manner. Let that be done for future examination. However, for the examination in question, it would not be appropriate to fix the marks now after examination is over.

The judgment was delivered in a writ petition filed before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.