Madras HC orders all students to be given one mark each in Plus two Bio-zoology exam

The Madras High Court has directed authorities that all Plus Two students, who had attempted question number 16 in Section-A of Part-II in bio-zoology subject, should be given one mark each.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 29, 2017, 22:07 PM IST

Chennai: The Madras High Court has directed authorities that all Plus Two students, who had attempted question number 16 in Section-A of Part-II in bio-zoology subject, should be given one mark each.

Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, passing orders on a batch of pleas, asked the director of government examinations to take necessary steps to award one mark each for students, and/or recompute the marks if the evaluation is already done.

"When the multiple choices given for the question are all wrong, in the interest of the career of students, marks have to be awarded. Though that should be only an exception, unfortunately, the exception has become a rule. Therefore, the authorities have to be careful in setting the question papers," the judge said.

The petitioners moved the court stating that the biology examination was conducted on March 31, and according to the text book, the correct answer for the question is 85 per cent to 90 per cent, but the multiple choice answers did not have this right answer.

Though one mark should be given to students, they complained that valuers had been given instructions to give one mark only if students had ticked either 80 or 90 per cent or written the correct answer 85 to 90 per cent.

Authorities opposed the claim on the ground that students should choose the most suitable answer only from the given four alternatives, as per the instructions given to them in the question paper. Hence, the most suitable answer as per their knowledge is option (a) 80 per cent to 90 per cent. 

Therefore, no mark could be awarded for those who had ticked other than 80 per cent to 90 per cent, they argued.

However, the judge said the Key Preparation Committee filed an affidavit in the court stating that the correct option for the question is 85 per cent to 90 per cent which was not given as one of the four alternatives.

The judge pointed out that in the question paper, the students were asked to choose the most suitable answer only from the given four alternatives.

"Hence, the most suitable answer as per our knowledge is option (a) 80 per cent to 90 per cent," the judge said.

"Albeit no candidate can claim as a matter of right that a mark be awarded for the answer subsequently found to be incorrect, he is entitled to be awarded mark even if his answer is incorrect, based on the key answer," the judge said.

Citing earlier orders, the judge said there could be only one key answer.

"But, when the multiple choices given for the question are all wrong, in the interest of the career of the students, marks have to be awarded," the judge added.