SC gives CBSE Class 12 students option to junk improvement exam scores
SC directs CBSE to allow students who either failed or scored less marks in their Class 12 improvement exams to retain their original assessment score.
The Supreme Court on Friday directed the central board of secondary education (CBSE) to allow students who either failed or scored less marks in their Class 12 improvement exams to retain their original assessment score in the interest of protecting their academic career.
A bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar passed the order while dealing with a petition filed by 11 students who challenged the rule issued by the CBSE in its Tabulation Policy of 2021 that made the improvement examination scores binding for all future purposes. Some of these students who were ‘pass’ in their original scores ended up getting less marks or were declared ‘fail’ in the improvement examination conducted during August-September 2021. Since they had already taken admission in undergraduate courses, they appealed to the Court to save their academic year by allowing them to retain their original marks.
The bench found no justification in denying students the choice to retain their original score and went on to strike down paragraph 28 of the Tabulation Policy which said, “Marks scored in the later examination shall be considered final.”
The bench said, “In the past you have done it, what is the difficulty in doing it again. Give us a justification why it is not possible.” Advocate Rupesh Kumar appeared for CBSE and filed an affidavit stating that the board had decided to partially modify its policy and allow students who failed or were asked to repeat test to retain their original score. However, with regard to those who scored less marks in the improvement, the board was not willing to consider their case.
The affidavit filed by CBSE Controller of Examinations Sanyam Bhardwaj said, “Students cannot be permitted to challenge the said decision (paragraph 28 in the policy) after knowingly participating in the process, once they found that the subsequent result is not favourable to them.” The result of the improvement exam was declared on September 29.
However, to ensure “academic career of students is not affected”, the CBSE modified its June 17 tabulation policy. Also, it was felt that the students who failed in the examination will not fit in the current pattern and syllabus of examination, based on objective-type questions.
The 11 student petitioners were represented by advocate Mamta Sharma who said that going by the CBSE policy, the students would lose a crucial year and sought a sympathetic approach from the Court.