Students to be Allowed Inspection of Answer Sheets: CIC
24th May 2021, the Central Information Commission in Krishna Murari vs Department of Posts observed that if a candidate wants to review his/her answer script then such student should be allowed to look at their answer script.
The Commission decided that-
“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 Respondent, to furnish a copy of his own answer sheets to the Appellant as sought in the RTI Application, within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this order under the intimation of the Commission.”
In this case, Mr. Krishna Murari has filed an appeal before the Central Information Commission aggrieved by the response received by him through a letter dated 11.03.2019 that his claim under the RTI application, i.e., procurement of certified copy of answer sheet along with the answer key of Paper I-VI of AAO- LDCE, 2018 exam is being denied as per the judgment pronounced by the Supreme Court in the case of UPSC v. Angesh Kumar (2018).
Mr. Murari is before the Commission for 3 points which he sought through the RTI Application:
- Certified copy of his own answer sheet with the answer key of Paper I-VI of the exam.
- Marks obtained in each paper, i.e., from Paper I-VI
- Information regarding the number of candidates or employees who have passed.
The Commission referred to several decisions pertaining to the disclosure of the candidate’s own answer script, including the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of CBSE and Anr. v. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors, SLP (C) No. 7526/2009 whereby it was observed that every person who is an examinee will have the right to disclosure of his own answer script or may have access to certified copy as sought under the RTI Act, 2005 under section 8 (1) (e).
The commission further cited the following cases:
- Treesha Irish vs. CPIO and Ors., WP (C) No. 6352 of 2006 dated 30.08.2010: the High Court of Delhi held that the candidate is entitled to his/her own answer script.
- SBI vs. Mohd. Sahjahan LPA 714/2010 dated 09.05.2017
- Mradul Mishra vs. Chairman, U.P. Public Service Commission and Ors., Civil Appeal No. 6723 of 2018-
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had while deciding the issue as to whether the Appellant is entitled to see the answer sheets of the examination in which he participated, held as under:
“14. In our opinion, permitting a candidate to inspect the answer sheet does not involve any public interest nor does it affect the efficient operation of the Government. There are issues of confidentiality and disclosure of sensitive information that may arise, but those have already been taken care of in the case of Aditya Bandopadhyay where it has categorically been held that the identity of the examiner cannot be disclosed for reasons of confidentiality.
- That being the position, we have no doubt that the Appellant is entitled to inspect the answer sheets. Accordingly, we direct the Respondent – U.P. Public Service Commission to fix the date, time and place where the Appellant can come and inspect the answer sheet within four weeks.”
After considering the above-mentioned orders, the larger public interest involved and the right to life and livelihood of the candidates, the Commission directed the Respondent to furnish the copy of the answer to the Appellant as under the RTI application within 30 days from the receipt of the order.
With respect to the Answer Key of AAO- LDCE, 2018 exam. the Commission gave 30 days’ time to the Respondent for uploading the answers on the official website.
As to query no.2, the Commission directed the Respondent to “again furnish the marks obtained through a revised reply to the Appellant within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order under the intimation to the Commission”.
In conclusion, the Commission allowed inspection of their own answer sheet to the students as per the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL