Judges can’t examine answer scripts, order revaluation: SC
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 22:35
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 ruled.

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 Judge(Junior Division).

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 obtained.

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.


First Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 22:35

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