The Delhi High Court on friday, fixed July 3 as the next date of hearing in a petition seeking cancellation of all-India exams for selection of 553 ‘Group A’ patent officers, owing to alleged irregularities in the process of recruitment conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), under scanner for malpractices in other entrance tests it carried out.

Delhi High Court’s vacation bench of Justice Ravinder Dudeja heard the initial arguments and posted the matter for July 3, Dinesh Chandra Tripathi, advocate for 23 petitioners who have challenged the patent officers exam results declared on June 25, told businessline.

Tripathi said Delhi High Court heard his arguments including for passing an interim order for cancellation and re-conduct of the “Examiner for Patents and Designs” exam 2023 otherwise the recruitment process will be completed, jeopardising petitioners interest and fate. But, Justice Dudeja listed the matter for July 3, he said.

The High Court earlier on June 12 issued notice to the government on the petition that alleged grave aberrations in the selection to the posts of patent officers.

The Examiner for Patents and Designs work under the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), generally known as the Indian Patent Office. The CGPDTM is under the Ministry of Commerce’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), which administers the Indian law of patents, designs and trade mark.

The petitioners alleged discrepancies in the marking scheme for the exam, held in two phases of prelims and mains, which were accepted but not fixed by the NTA. Accepting error in the marking scheme of the questions displayed on the computer screen in Phase II mains exam, the NTA said “examination delivery agency” was informed to make candidates aware about it, the petition emphasised.


The petitioners, however, contradicted the NTA’s defence and stated that none of the candidates were apprised about this “ambiguity/error” at any examination centre across the country. Why didn’t the NTA not made changes to correct the error in the marking scheme even during the re-conduct of the mains examination?, the petition asked.

To give evidence of the alleged fallacies in the recruitment process, the petition cited an example of Rajiv Gaurav, a candidate who had filed a written complaint with the Exam Controller, DPIIT, NTA Office, Okhla, Delhi, on April 22, about the suspicious manner in which the NTA handled his attempt to write the exam.

Transparent recruitment processes

Gaurav, who cited his roll no as UP09002241 in the complaint, said he informed the Exam Controller that he got a call on March 24 from Noida centre exam coordinator, Abhishek, asking him to come to the centre two days later as they “need some clarification about the mains exam”.

Gaurav said he had already appeared for the mains exam for the first time on January 25 at the C30/&A, Sector 62, Noida, centre. Following directions, he reached the exam centre on March 26, and was told his “main paper is missing” and that “you need to write your exam once again today”. He was cautioned that he would be treated as absent if he failed to re-write the exam.

He wrote in his complaint that he was given the “same question paper” to re-write the exam.

To add another twist to the matter, the mains results declared on March 27 showed “result later” against the score cards of 239 candidates including that of Gaurav, the petition said. Later, he was called for the interview and was selected in the exam, advocate Tripathi informed.