In a landmark ruling on Tuesday, a Supreme Court bench said students had the right to access their answer-sheets under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The court held that evaluated answer-sheets were covered under the definition of “information” under the RTI Act, 2005.
The bench, comprising justice RV Raveendran and justice AK Patnaik, upheld a February 5, 2009 ruling of the Calcutta high court that examination conducting agencies were not exempted under the transparency law from disclosing the answer-sheets.
The verdict will benefit lakhs of students appearing for various examinations, including those conducted by the UPSC, as it gives a student the right to inspect answer-sheets by just applying to the relevant university, council, board or commission.
The court dismissed the arguments of the Calcutta University, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and CBSE, which contended that students had no right to have access to a disputed answer-sheet as there was a fiduciary relationship between the examiner and the examination conducting agency.