Class X and XII, entrance exam for professional courses & job recruitment tests
- can now take a look at how they were evaluated by the Right to Information Act.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday (9th August) ruled that students
aggrieved with their examination scores - class X and XII, entrance exam for professional
courses as well as job recruitment tests - can now take a look at how they were
evaluated by moving an application under the Right to Information Act.
So far, only re-tabulation of marks was possible. Now, the court has provided for
re-evaluation of answer-sheets, which will include whether examiner missed out awarding
marks for answers to some of the questions.
Passing the path-breaking order that will be lapped up by students, but may cause
consternation among the teaching fraternity, a bench of Justices R V Raveendran
and A K Patnaik dismissed a bunch of appeals filed by the Central Board of Secondary
Education, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Institute of Chartered Accountants
of India (ICAI), University of Calcutta, West Bengal Central School Services Commission
and Assam Public Services Commission.
The petitioners had challenged rulings by different information commissioners under
the RTI Act directing them to show the answer-sheets to the students.
The basic contention of all these education boards, Calcutta University and ICAI
was that there was a fiduciary relationship between the examiner and the board,
and hence it was not proper to show the answer-sheet to the student. CBSE had claimed
exemption from the ambit of RTI Act.
The classic among the cases dealt by the apex court was that of a Kolkata student
Pritam Rooj, who had scored 91.6% in the Class X examination and 80.8% at the higher
secondary (Class XII) examination.
But his performance dipped unexpectedly in the mathematics honours course, which
he studied in Presidency College under the Calcutta University. In 2005, he got
a mere 52% in his Part-I examination and an identical percentage the following year
in Part-II, with just 28 out of 100 in the fifth paper.
Rooj applied for re-evaluation of the paper, and was awarded four additional marks
by the university. But, that did not give him a first division and ruined his dream
of studying in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
On August 14, 2007, Rooj filed an RTI query seeking a copy of his answer-sheet from
the university. But, the principal information officer said no inspection of answer-sheet
was permitted under the RTI Act.
He moved the Calcutta High Court and got a favourable order. Similar orders
had come in from the high court’s of Gauhati in Assam and other places. The apex
court had joined them together and heard arguments.
Courtesy: Times of India