The Honorable Supreme Court of India in its landmark judgment has allowed for the full disclosure of exam answer copies to the applicant. Evaluated answer sheet now falls under the definition of “information” under the powerful Right to Information (RTI) Act.
This judgment is a welcome step for the lakhs of students who receive wrong results due to the negligence of examining bodies or their members. All the exams conducted by government bodies, including all those by individual state and central governments are covered by this law.
The Supreme Court disposed of a contempt plea against the CBSE after it submitted that it was ready to provide the copy of answer sheets at Rs. 2 per page to the students under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph accepted the submissions of senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), that the apex court order was being followed.
It disposed of the contempt petition that claimed that exorbitant fees were being charged by the CBSE from students in violation of the court’s order for accessing the answer sheets under the RTI. The CBSE, in its response to the contempt plea, said that it would provide answer sheets at Rs.2 per page to students as per the order of the Supreme Court.
The contempt petition was filed by Whistle for Public Interest (WHIP), an organization of young lawyers that claim to be working for promoting transparency and accountability in the affairs of public authorities in India.
It was alleged that CBSE has been charging as much Rs. 1,000 for Class X students and Rs.1,200 for Class XII students who sought copies of their answer sheets and revaluation of the same under the transparency law.
The contempt plea has alleged that the CBSE has willfully and deliberately disobeyed the directions of the apex court, which had in 2016 said that the board should ‘scrupulously’ follow its 2011 verdict holding that the students have the fundamental and legal right to access their evaluated answer-sheets under the Right to Information Act.
This Act can be extremely beneficial to the student community by allowing such transparency. A student in any university or school can demand inspection of his answer script and also take its certified copies. There are many decisions and discussions on obtaining evaluated answer copies under RTI.
You can get the following information by filing this RTI and using your right.
• Marks list and Selection list of candidates according to Merit
• Copy of evaluated answer copy all pages in all subjects.
• Copy of TestKey all pages in all subjects
There are no one set of rules or standards that apply in examination evaluation by Universities or Education Boards. There is no countrywide accepted norms or any legal rights for the students over fraudulent practices or biased marking.
This has created nightmares for millions of bright students and destroyed the future or promising students across India. Maintaining and Giving Answer Copies may be extra workload for the educational institution, but it is not a reasonable excuse to deny this information under RTI.
Evaluated answer copies have to be open to the public to ensure transparency in our education system. Any student who got unexpected low marks or failed even after answering questions properly is a grieved citizen. This student can demand to inspect his results so that the evaluators cannot use unjustified means to act against any student.