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Students can inspect answer-scripts: HC

A two-judge appeal bench of Calcutta High Court upheld that the right to information (RTI) Act gives a student the right to inspect the answer-script of any examination he had written, reports Deepak Prahladka.

kolkata Updated: Feb 05, 2009 20:49 IST
Deepak Prahladka

A two-judge appeal bench of Calcutta High Court on Thursday upheld that the right to information (RTI) Act gives a student the right to inspect the answer-script of any examination he had written.

This order gives a student the right to inspect his/her answer script just by applying to the relevant council, board or university.

Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Dipankar Datta directed Calcutta University, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and Central Board of Secondary Education to allow a student access to a disputed answer-script.

If a student is not satisfied with his or her marks, the current practice is to seek a review. If the university agrees, the student’s scores may or may not change, but that is the last stop. Even if the student is not satisfied with the revised score, the university does not entertain further appeals.

The order has put the boards and councils in a fix. The Madhyamik board has over 10 lakh examinees for the ensuing exam this month. The board will have about one crore answer- scripts. It will require increased manpower and logistical support so that students have a chance to look at the answer-scripts in case of disputes.

According to board secretary Partha Ray, the board would study the court order and then decide. The Higher Secondary Council too has no provision to show the answer scripts to the students. Similarly, Calcutta University also has 176 colleges and about two lakh students to deal with.

The student in the current High Court case, Pritam Rooj, had appeared for his BSc exams in 2007. The mathematics honours student was not satisfied with his score in the fifth paper (28 marks out of 100). He demanded a review, which the university granted, but he was still not satisfied with the outcome, as his score was increased by just four marks, to 32.
Pritam then sought to invoke the RTI Act and moved the state Public Information Commission. The panel turned down his plea. Pritam then moved the High Court.