The Bombay high court on Thursday came to the rescue of a 17-year-old girl suffering from dyslexia who failed the HSC exam held this year due to miscalculation of one mark in the Physics subject.
A division bench of justices DY Chandrachud and Amjad Sayed directed the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education to re-compute her marks in Physics and grant the Chembur resident benefit of 20 grace marks given to students with learning disabilities.
According to the petitioner, the girl had obtained a certificate from Learning Clinic of Sion Hospital on January 29, 2009, declaring that she had dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia (see box). Before appearing for the board exam, she submitted an application to the state board seeking concessions given to students with learning disabilities.
The petition added that she was declared failed in the examination, having secured 29 out of 100 marks in Physics, and 20 in Mathematics. In May, she applied for verification of her Physics answer book and found that the examiner had not marked at least three answers written by her, and a mark given to an answer was not counted in the total.
She approached the court after her plea raising grievances about the irregularities went unheard. Her counsel, Kumud Bhatia, said that if the answers were scored, the student would have secured more marks in the subject.
The lawyer also pointed out that even if the uncounted mark was added to the total for the subject, the girl would have passed the HSC exam, as the 20 grace marks, which can be distributed across subjects, would have allowed her to pass both Physics and Mathematics (see box).
The judges discarded her contentions about reevaluation so that she can be given marks for the three questions, stating that board regulations do not allow reassessment during the process of verification; only the marks given are recomputed.
They, however, found substance in the grievance of not counting one mark given for question 1(8) in the Physics subject, and directed the board to rectify the error.