In a significant ruling on Wednesday, the Delhi high court said students appearing for competitive exams at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) can access the certified copies of old question papers.
The judgment becomes important as students appearing for IIT-JEE, CAT and other such exams can also site it as a precedent and get access to question papers, which are till now barred.
“Unless the public authority (AIIMS) is able to show that the information sought is exempted from disclosure under RTI, the information sought is required to be disclosed to the applicant,” said justice S Muralidhar, dismissing an appeal filed by AIIMS, which challenged a Central Information Commission order asking it to provide certified copies of the question papers to one Vikrant Bhuria.
AIIMS had challenged the order, saying question papers are its “intellectual property” and that the larger public interest does not warrant their disclosure. It said many experts had contributed their time and expertise to develop the question bank and it should be "considered as having been given to the students by such experts in confidence".
The court said the grounds raised by AIIMS for denying the questions papers to aspiring students are tenable in law.