Seeking Answer Sheet, Right of the Student: Information Commission
The Central Information Commission in Ganesh Sharma vs. Department of Post established the petitioner-student’s right to seek his own answer sheet through the Right to Information (RTI) application.
The Commission held:
Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by both the parties and in the light of the decisions cited above pertaining to the right of a candidate to seek his own answer sheet, the Commission directs the Director (B&A) and FAA, to furnish a copy of his own answer sheets to the Appellant as sought in the RTI Application, within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order under the intimation of the Commission.
The appellant stated that he had made an RTI application seeking his answer scripts. The Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) through a letter dated 10.11.2018 informed to the appellant that his answer scripts cannot be revealed as per the judgment given in UPSC v. Agnesh Kumar (2018). Aggrieved, the appellant approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA) and the FAA upheld the order of CPIO. Further distressed the appellant approached the Commission.
The Commission held that the appellant was entitled to seek his own answer script while adding that the respondent taking the plea of the order passed in Agnesh Kumar was irrelevant as in cited case, the nature of the examination was competitive.
The Commission added:
The Commission also felt that issue under consideration involves Larger Public Interest affecting the fate of all the students / candidates who wish to obtain information regarding their own answer sheet which would understandably have a bearing on their future career prospects which in turn would ostensibly affect their right to life and livelihood. Hence, allowing inspection of their own answer sheet to the students / candidates ought to be allowed as per the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.
In conclusion, the CIC directed the Director to furnish the answer script within 15 days from the date he receives the order.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL