In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has said that students appearing under the CBSE, or their parents, do not have the right to know the marks secured by them in each subject even through an RTI application. The directive comes two years after the introduction of grading system.
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice RS Endlaw said this while setting aside the order of a single judge and the Central Information Commission (CIC), which directed CBSE to divulge to a parent the marks his daughter had scored in each subject in her Class 10 exams.
The parent, Anil Kathpal, wanted the information to “identify her weak areas” and take remedial action.
Allowing an appeal filed by the CBSE, the court said, “We feel that the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of marks in the regime of grades, have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof.”
“We are unable to agree with the reasoning of the CIC and of the learned single judge and allow this appeal. We hold the information, disclosure of which was sought, to be no information and also exempt from disclosure under RTI,” the bench added.
The court noted that the purpose of introducing the grade system was to take away the frightening judgmental quality of marks, to lead to a stress-free and joyful learning environment, was intended to minimise mis-classification of students on the basis of marks, to eliminate unhealthy cut-throat competition and to reduce societal pressure.
The court said no weightage can be given to Kathpal’s submission that marks, even if disclosed, will not be used for any other purpose. “The possibility of the parent and his ward in securing admission and for other purposes using the said information to secure an advantage over others cannot be ruled out,” the Bench said.