New Delhi: Revealing identity of examiners evaluating answer sheets in competitive exams under the RTI Act will lead to "dire consequences" and create "confusion and public unrest", the Supreme Court said, warning that unsuccessful candidates may try to seek revenge.
A bench of Justices MY Eqbal and Arun Mishra made the observations while partly allowing the appeal of Kerala Public Service Commission against a 2011 Kerala High Court order directing it to make available all information including the identity of the examiner.
"We would like to point out that disclosure of identity of examiners is in the least interest of the general public and also any attempt to reveal the examiner's identity will give rise to dire consequences.
"Therefore, in our considered opinion revealing examiner's identity will only lead to confusion and public unrest. Hence, we are not inclined to agree with the decision of the Kerala High Court with respect to the second question," it said.
The apex court upheld the high court order that answer sheets and details of interview marks can be and should be provided to the candidate as it is not something which a public authority keeps under a fiduciary capacity.
It said examinees are entitled to get scanned copies of their answer sheet of the written test and details of the interview marks under the transparency law.
The bench observed that disclosing marks and answer sheets will ensure that candidates have been given marks according to their performance and said this practice would ensure a fair play in this competitive environment.
It, however, modified the high court's decision to the extent that the Kerala PSC was not entitled to disclosing the names of the examiners as sought.
The bench also said disclosing examiners' names might lead to a situation where unsuccessful candidates may try to take revenge from examiners for performing their duty properly.
"This may, further, create a situation where the potential candidates in the next similar exam, especially in the same state or in the same level will try to contact the disclosed examiners for any potential gain by illegal means in the potential exam", the court observed.