PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has vacated stay order about the appointment of Tehsil Municipal Officers (TMOs) across the province after dismissing a writ petition seeking cancellation of written examination by the Public Service Commission due to technical errors and paper leak.
A division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Muhammad Ayub Khan dismissed the petition. It observed that the court had not seen any illegality and unfairness in the available record produced before the court.
However, the court stated in the decision that the petitioners’ claim about paper leaks is factual controversy and they can agitate it in the civil court.
The petition was filed by several candidates, including Yousafzai Shah, Asif and others through their lawyer Zahidullah Zahid.
During the course of hearing, the lawyer submitted that the provincial government had advertised the posts of TMOs (BPS-17) through the Public Service Commission. The test was arranged on January 31, 2018.
The lawyer informed the bench that the paper printed for the written test for the posts was leaked two hours before the test and it went viral on the social media.
He contended that later the commission issued two results of the test as the first result was issued in February and the second in March.
The lawyer pointed out that in the second result, 5 to 100 marks of the candidates were increased.
He added that two chances of written tests had been given to the candidates of Abbottabad region as the first test was held on January 31 and the second on February 10.
Interestingly, the lawyer pointed out that the Public Service Commission for the first time displayed the results through computerised national identity cards (CNIC), which also created doubts about nepotism and favouritism in the examination.
The petitioners requested the bench to declare the written test as void.
The paper printed for test of TMO vacancy was reportedly leaked.
The test was conducted under the PSC for 200 vacancies of TMOs for which around 40,000 applicants had applied.
Muhammad Saeed, officer litigation for Public Service Commission, submitted before the bench that the claim of the petitioners about leak of the paper was baseless as some candidates had taken screen shots of the question paper.
However, he admitted that technical errors had occurred but that were corrected and numbers were added to all the candidates including petitioners due to the error.
He said that except Asif, all other petitioners’ numbers were low and they did not qualify for interview as per the merit.
About the second paper, he said that some candidates were issued wrong answer sheets and test was conducted again only for those candidates.
Additional Advocate General Sikandar Shah representing the provincial government submitted that there was no evidence on record on the basis of which the petitioners claimed that the paper was leaked.
He submitted the petitioners’ marks were low in the test and that was why they were trying to get it cancelled.
Ijaz Sabi appeared for private candidates who had passed the test and interview and were recommended for the posts by the Public Service Commission.
He said that no illegality had taken place and the commission had recommended 35 candidates including four women for the posts of TMO.
The lawyer prayed the court to dismiss the petition as the provincial government was about to issue appointment orders of the TMOs.