New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that
courts should not examine answer sheets or order re-valuation
of the scripts unless there were compelling reasons or the
statutory provisions provided for such a remedy.
"It was not permissible for the High Court to examine
the question paper and answer sheets itself, particularly,
when the (Himachal Pradesh Public Service) Commission had
assessed the inter-se merit of the candidates," the court
A Bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar
said any such re-valuation cannot be restricted only to a
particular candidate who has approached the court, but such a
relief can be provided even for other students.
"If there was a discrepancy in framing the question or
evaluation of the answer, it could be for all the candidates
appearing for the examination" and not for one candidate, the
Bench said in its judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while setting
aside a Himachal Pradesh High Court judgement which had
directed appointment of Mahesh Thakur to the post of a Civil
The appointment was ordered by the high court after it
examined the answers script of the candidate and subsequently
directed re-valuation of the same by the Reader in Law in
Himachal Pradesh University who awarded him 119 marks in the
subject Civil Law-II as against the 45 marks he had originally
The high court had further ordered that no other
similar petition for re-valuation shall be be entertained in
the case of other students.
Aggrieved by the directions, the Himachal Pradesh
Public Service Commission appealed in the apex court.
Upholding the appeal, the apex court said," It is a
matter of chance that the High Court was examining the answer
sheets relating to law. Had it been other subjects like
physics, chemistry and mathematics, we are unable to
understand as to whether such a course could have been adopted
by the High Court."
It said the quality of education cannot be
compromised in any manner whatsoever.
"In the absence of any provision under the Statute or
Statutory Rules/Regulations, the Court should not generally
direct revaluation.," the apex court said while interpreting a
number of its earlier judgements on the power of courts to
interfere in education and service related matters.