Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rights of Students to see their answer sheets confirmed by SC

Dear Friends,

The Supreme Court has finally confirmed that all students have a rights to inspect and get a photocopy of their answer sheets after their evaluation under the RTI. I see this particularly coming handy to lakhs of students and candidates with disabilities, whose results are often withheld by the examining bodies in an attempt to thwart their induction/recruitment.

I have several of such experiences, where my clients with disabilities were subjected to this silent discrimination. And it was only after our seeking the details of marks obtained under RTI Act, that the malady came to fore. But, the boards did not allow us to see our copy whether what they said was correct. This is going to be a great deterrent for the authorities/examining bodies especially in the recruitment examinations, to discriminate against persons with disabilities or practice a biased approach.

SC Vashishth   

To read from source click the link below:

They have the right to inspect and photocopy their answer sheets after their evaluation under the Right to Information (RTI) Act

Submitted on 08/10/2011 - 12:16:47 PM

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that students have the right to inspect and photocopy their answer sheets after their evaluation under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The apex court bench of Justices RV Raveendran and AK Patnaik allowed the disclosure of the answer sheets of the examination conducted by boards, universities, institutions and public service commissions, when it upheld the Calcutta High Court judgment that permitted the students to inspect their answer sheets.

The apex court pronounced its verdict saying that evaluated answer sheets come under the definition of "information" and reiterated the duty of the public authority under the transparency law to allow maximum disclosure as envisaged by the RTI Act.

The case reached the apex court from high court which by its March 28, 2008, judgment permitted a student, Pritam Rooj, to inspect his answer sheets. Rooj was a student of mathematics in Presidency College.

In 2006, when he sat for the first part of degree examination he secured 52 per cent marks. In the second year he got 208 out of 400 marks and got just 28 marks out of 100 in fifth papers. Upon seeking revaluation, his marks increased by four in the fifth paper.

He contended that his poor marks stood in the way of his getting admission in post-graduation course and applied to inspect his mark sheet under the RTI law which was rejected.

The university said that the answer sheets of an examinee cannot be shared. The High Court overruled it. The order was challenged in apex court by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, among others.

Friday, August 5, 2011

OBC seats can’t be converted into general ones

A Supreme Court bench said conversion of seats reserved for OBC to general category seats in central educational institutions was not permissible

New Delhi: Conversion of seats reserved for students belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) to general category seats in central educational institutions was not permissible, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The apex court bench of Justice RV Raveendran and Justice AK Patnaik said this while reserving its verdict on a petition by PV Indiresan, former Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.

The petitioner challenged the September 7, 2010, verdict of the Delhi High Court which said that the minimum eligibility marks for admission under the OBC category would be 10 per cent below the minimum eligibility marks fixed for general category students.

The process to take away the OBC seats for conversion into general category seats was not permissible, Justice Raveendran said, reports IANS.

The court said this when senior Counsel KK Venugopal, appearing for the petitioner, said that in case the court decided the issue against him then it must ensure that 50 per cent seats earmarked for general category students were not encroached upon by OBC candidates even if some of them entered a university by taking the merit route.
When a lawyer referred to Justice Raveendran's observation that rules of the game couldn't be changed after its start, the judges said that what they meant was that it had to be decided in advance at what point the process of the admission of the OBC students under the reserved category would start and what would be the cut-off marks.
Venugopal sought to make a distinction between the reservation for the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and the OBC and said they could not be placed at par because social ostracism suffered by the former did not visit the latter.

Justice Patnaik asked Venugopal that when the law used the same language for extending reservation to the OBC as it did in the case of SC/ST, then how he could interpret it differently.

While reserving its verdict, the court gave all the contending parties time till Monday to submit their written submissions.