The Delhi High Court has highlighted the need for ensuring that the questions in a multiple choice objective type test are unambiguous and capable of only one clear answer.

The Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru and Justice Tara Vitasta Ganju placed reliance on a catena of judgments, including Kanpur University & Ors. v. Samir Gupta & Ors., wherein it was held that in a multiple choice objective type test, there is no scope for reasoning or argument; the answer is required to be in the affirmative or the negative. Thus, it is also essential that there is only a single appropriate answer for each question.

In light of the same, it was held that, "The decision of the Examining Authority to accept two correct answers in respect of certain questions militates against the scheme of evaluation and therefore, cannot be sustained. The Examining Authority is required to determine whether there is a single answer that fits in to the criteria of being the most appropriate. If the same is not possible, the said question must necessarily be deleted."

Counsel Zoheb Hossain, along with others, appeared for the petitioner, while Counsel Amit George, along with others, appeared for the respondent.

The petitioners, who aimed to join the Delhi Judicial Services, challenged the Model Answer Key and Revised Answer Key for the Delhi Judicial Services Examination 2023 (DJS Examination 2023).

They didn't qualify the exam due to marks falling short of the threshold set by the Delhi High Court (DHC). The DHC invited applications for filling 53 vacancies in the Delhi Judicial Services, with the exam having three stages: Preliminary Examination, Delhi Judicial Service Mains (Written) Examination, and Viva-Voce. The Preliminary Examination took place on 17.12.2023, and objections to the Model Answer Key were invited until 23.12.2023.

Some petitioners objected to certain answers, while others challenged different answers. The Examining Authority revised the Answer Key based on representations received, modifying answers to certain questions and deleting two questions.

The petitioners challenged the Revised Answer Key, arguing against the provision of two answers for one question and claiming errors in some answers. The DHC countered these arguments, stating that providing two correct answers was permissible.

The High Court directed that, "the Revised Answer Key, insofar as it provides for two apposite answers in respect of the same question, is set aside. The Examining Authority is directed to rectify the Revised Answer Key in view of the above and re-evaluate the examinees. We clarify that the admission of those examinees that have been declared successful in the preliminary examination, to Delhi Judicial Service Mains (Written) Examination, shall not be disturbed. However, additional candidates that qualify in view of the re-evaluation as per the amended answer key, would also be included in the list of successful candidates for being admitted to Delhi Judicial Service Mains (Written) Examination."

The petition was disposed accordingly.


Petitioner: Counsels Zoheb Hossain, Vivek Gurnani, Sara Jain

Respondent: Counsels Amit George, Arkaneil Bhaumik, Rayadurgam Bharat, Piy Harold Jaimon, Abhishwa Suri, Rishabh Dheer, Shashwat Kabi

Cause Title: Rishabh Duggal vs Registrar General, Delhi High Court

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