KH.NOBIN SINGH, J. -
(1.) Heard Smt. G. Pushpa, Advocate for the the appellants in WA No.19 of 2017 and for the petitioners in WP(C) No.606 of 2017; Shri R.K. Deepak, Advocate for the appellants in WA No.29 of 2017 and for the petitioners in WP(C) No.725 of 2017; Shri Vijay Hansaria, Senior Advoccate, Shri A. Bimol Singh, Senior Advocate, Shri S. Biswajit Meitei, Advocate, Shri Premjit, Advocate, Shri Ng. Kumar, Advocate, Shri T. Momo Singh, Advocate, Shri B.R. Sharma, Advocate and Shri Kh. Tarunkumar Singh, Advocate for the private respondents; Shri N. Ibotombi Singh, Senior Advoacate for the MPSC in all the cases; Shri Shyam Sharma, Government Advocate for the State respondents and Shri Y. Nirmolchand, Senior Advocate for the petitioner in WP(C) No.313 of 2018.
(2.) The above writ appeals and writ petitions have arisen out of a similar set of facts and therefore, the same are being disposed of by this common judgment and order. The subject matter in issue relates to the validity and correctness of the unfortunate and controversial examination conducted by the Manipur Public Service Commission (hereinafter referred to as "the MPSC ") for recruitment to various posts namely, MCS, MPS etc.
(3.) The MPSC issued a Notification dated 29-12-2015 inviting, through online, applications from amongst the eligible candidates for the Manipur Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as "the Examination, 2015 ") for filling up 82 posts of different categories of service to be conducted under the provisions of the Manipur Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination Rules, 2010 (hereinafter referred to as "the Competitive Examination Rules, 2010 ") and the Preliminary Examination thereof was to be held on 28-02-2016. In response to the said Notification, many candidates submitted their applications.
3.2. In the meantime, the MPSC issued a corrigendum dated 14-01-2016 making certain amendments to the said Notification dated 29-12-2015, followed by a Notification dated 25-01-2016 notifying the last date for submission of application forms as 30-01-2016. Hardly few days later, a Notification dated 27-01-2016 was issued by the MPSC extending the last date for submission of application forms upto 03-02-2016. Pursuant to a letter dated 16-02-2016 of the State Government withdrawing its requisition for recruitment to 82 posts of different categories of services, the MPSC issued a Notification dated 16-02-2016 cancelling its Notification dated 29-12-2015.
3.3. Thereafter, the MPSC issued a fresh Notification dated 07-04-2016 inving applications, through online, for filling up the said 82 posts of different categories of service as mentioned therein through the Manipur Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as "the Examination, 2016 ") which was divided into two stages-one, the Preliminary Examination, 2016 and two, the Main Examination, 2016. As per the said Notification, the last date for submission of application forms was 30-04-2016 which was extended thrice thereafter vide Notifications dated 29-04-2016, 08-05-2016 and 11-05-2016 issued by the MPSC upto midnight of 12-05-2016.
3.4. The Preliminary Examination, 2016 was held as per schedule on 15-05-2016 but unfortunately, it was cancelled vide Notification dated 03-06-2016 issued by the MPSC because of certain contradictory instructions given in para 9 of the test booklet of the said examination and the Preliminary Examination, 2016 was declared to be held on 03-07-2016.
Accordingly, the Preliminary Examination, 2016 was held afresh on 03-07-2016 and the result thereof was declared on 08-07-2016 whereby 1130 (one thousand one hundred and thirty) candidates were declared successful with the further declaration that the Main Examination, 2016 would be held on 04-09-2016. As notified on 08-07-2016, the Main Examination, 2016 commenced from 04-09-2016 but the General Studies Paper which was earlier scheduled to be held on 05-09-2016, was re-scheduled on 23-09-2016 and thus, the Main Examination, 2016 continued till 23-09-2016 and the result thereof was declared on 04-10-2016.
3.5. In the meantime, the State Government vide its Notification dated 04-03-2016 issued the Manipur Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination (4th Amendment) Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as "the Competitive Examination Rules, 2016 ") by which clauses (iv) and (v) were inserted to Rule 6 of Chapter I of Schedule-II of the Competitive Examination Rules, 2010 and Chapter-II, Schedule-II(B), Note (ii) thereof were also amended. But this Notification dated 04-03-2016 was uploaded in the official website of the MPSC only on 04-09-2016 on which the Main Examination, 2016 was commenced by it. ;