The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) results for the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) and Combined Higher Secondary Level (CHSL) 2017 exams and referred to the whole examination process conducted by the SSC as ‘tainted’. The SC bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said that it cannot let candidates take advantage of the situation and get into government services.

The SC in its verdict also pulled up Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee who was appearing for the CBI for defending the SSC officials. The judgement said, “Mr Solicitor, it is surprising that you are taking this stand. You are appearing for CBI and you should have said that the examination must be cancelled. Your status report implicates several people and you are taking a different stand.”

The court was hearing a case from petitioner Shantanu Kumar, who was being represented by Advocates Prashant Bhushan and Govind Jee, who argued that the CBI report says the custodians of the examination themselves have leaked the papers and thus asked the court to stay the declaration of the results, which was expected to be declared in a few days. Agreeing to the petition, the bench said, “‘It can’qt be believed that the custodian of the examination paper is himself leaking the paper.”

The month of February and March had witnessed a huge protest from the CGL exam aspirants after a screen shot of leaked CGL Tier-II paper was found circulating in the social media. Aspirants demanded cancellation of the exam and full CBI inquiry into the alleged leak. The government agreed to the demand and ordered a CBI inquiry on March 5th. In May, CBI had registered cases against 17 people related to the leak.

The Staff Selection Commission is one of the biggest government recruiting agencies responsible for the recruitment of Group B, C and D level employees. The CGL and CHSL are one of the biggest exams conducted by the Commission.