Andhra Pradesh High Court annulled public service exams held during YSRCP rule, not TDP

By: Rohith Gutta
March 19 2024

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Andhra Pradesh High Court annulled public service exams held during YSRCP rule, not TDP

Screenshot of the social media post claiming that the APPSC Group-1 exams annulled by the Andhra Pradesh High Court were held during the rule of the TDP government (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The court annulled the examinations, citing irregularities in evaluating answer scripts. They were evaluated between 2021 and 2022, during YSRCP rule.

Claim ID af9961c2

What is the claim?

The top court of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on March 13 annulled the results of a state competitive examination conducted for the recruitment to higher civil services. In light of the judgment, some social media users have claimed that the court's annulment of the exams was a "slap on the face of Chandrababu Naidu" as the exams were conducted "under the TDP government." Naidu is the former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, and his party, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was at the helm of the state between 2014 and 2019. 

Archived versions of social media claims interpreting the court's judgment as a setback to the TDP can be accessed here and here. Telugu news outlet Sakshi also published a report insinuating the high court decision to annul the results of the Group-1(Mains) exam was an embarrassment for the TDP, which was the ruling party then. 

Screenshot of the viral social media posts. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

It is to be noted that the state will elect a new government in the next few months. The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) headed by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is going up against the opposition coalition of TDP, Janasena Party (JSP), and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). 

What did we find?

We accessed the judgment in question, which gives details about the examinations' dates and the contention against these exams.

The judgment shows that the notification for the Group-1 (Mains) examination in question was released on December 31, 2018, when the TDP government was in power. The 'preliminary' examination was held on March 10, 2019, under TDP rule. However, the state government changed in May 2019, and a new government under YSRCP came to power. Based on the results of the preliminary exams, 9,678 candidates were selected for the 'Mains' exam. The 'Mains' exam was held between December 14-20, 2020, and the results were announced on April 28, 2021. The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC), a government commission, conducts and oversees these examination processes. 

After the results were declared in 2021, a few candidates approached the High Court for the first time, alleging that the evaluation of answer scripts of the 'Mains' exam was contrary to the official acts and rules in place. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer sheets were evaluated online, and the petitioners submitted that, according to the rules, the evaluation needs to be manual. The court agreed with this contention and ordered a manual re-evaluation on October 1, 2021.

Meanwhile, after the YSRCP government came to power, the APPSC board was changed, and a new board for the commission was appointed in October 2019. A new chairperson, too, was appointed in February 2022.

The answer scripts were re-evaluated manually, and the 'Mains' examination results were released on May 6, 2022. The selected candidates were called for oral interviews, and the final list of candidates was released on July 5, 2022. 

All notifications regarding the entire examination process are available on the APPSC website, and these corroborate all the dates mentioned. 

After the declaration of the July 2022 results, 103 candidates whose names did not appear on the final list approached the high court, alleging irregularities in the evaluation process, and prayed to annul the examination and conduct the exam afresh. The court sided with the petitioners again and annulled the Group-1 (top category) selection. The court ordered that the 'Mains' examination be conducted afresh and that the established process be taken forward from there.

The 'Mains' examination, evaluation of the answer scripts, and re-evaluation of the same scripts took place in 2020, 2021, and 2022, the years YSRCP was in power. 

The grounds on which the Andhra Pradesh High Court annulled the examination (Source: Andhra Pradesh High Court/Screenshot)

Group-1 examinations were also held in 2017 under the previous TDP government, which were not annulled, and the selected candidates were recruited as state civil servants.

It is, therefore, clear that the high court annulled the Group-1' Mains' results that were held under a new APPSC board under the YSRCP government.

The verdict

APPSC exams held during the YSRCP government, annulled by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, were claimed to be held under the TDP government. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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