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Prateek Mehta v. Union Of India And Others - WRIT - C No. 28509 of 2007 [2007] RD-AH 11172 (4 July 2007)


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Court No. 33.

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 28509 of 2007.

Prateek Mehta                                      ...     Petitioner.


Union of India and others                    ...     Respondents.

Hon. Sunil Ambwani, J.

Heard Sri Pankaj Srivastava for the petitioner and Sri H.N. Pandey for the respondents.

Sri H.N. Pandey appearing for the Central Board of Secondary Education has produced answer books of Math-metics, Physics and Chemistry Theory.  A perusal of the answer books goes to show that each and every question was examined by the examinor and that where answers were correct the marks were awarded.  The petitioner secured 4 marks in Physics (theory), 5 marks in Chemistry (theory) and 23 marks in Maths.

The petitioner is present in person.  He and his counsel  saw the answer books and the marks awarded to  him. He is not satisfied that his answer books have been correctly examined.  

Sri Pankaj Srivastava appearing for the petitioner submits that the petitioner has secured 84 marks in Maths and 64 marks in Science subjects in class X examination and  has been selected for counseling in Engineering College, Karnataka and in UP SEE in which he has scored 132 Marks out of 180 marks in Physics and 40 marks out of 90 marks in Maths and has fair chances of selection for Engineering Course which will be denied to him if his answer books are not re-examined by the Committee of Experts.  

Sri Pankaj Srivastava has relied upon a judgment in Kanpur University Vs. Samir Gupta and others ( AIR 1983 SC 1230) in which the Supreme Court found that the paper setter committed an error for combined Pre-Medical Test.  The key answers were not found correct.  Sri H.N. Pandey, on the


other hand, has relied upon a Division Bench Judgment in Kumud Singh Vs. Union of India, 2005 (1) ESC (Alld) 661 and Kshitij Singh Vs. Joint Secretary, Central Board of Secondary Education, Allahabad and others, 2001(3) A.W.C. 2191.  In both these cases it was held that the Examination Rules made by CBSE do not provided for revaluation and  permitted only for scrutiny of marks.

A student appearing in the examinations conducted by a statutory examining body is entitled to scrutiny or revaluation of his marks and answer books in accordance with the rules made by the examining body. In the present case the rules made by the examining body do not give any right for revaluation of his answer books. He is only entitled to scrutiny of his marks.

In Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and another v. Paritosh Bhupesh Kurmarsheth and others, AIR 1984 SC 1543, Hon'ble Supreme Court held that  that it is in public interest that the results  public of examinations when published should have some finality attached to them. If inspections, verifications in the presence of candidates and revaluation are to be allowed as of right, it may leave to gross and indefinite uncertainty,  particularly in regard to the relative ranking etc. of the candidates, besides leading to utter confusion on account of  the enormity of the  labour and time involved in the process. The Court should be extremely reluctant to substitute its own views as to what is wise, prudent and proper in relation to academic matters in preference to those formulated by professional men possessing technical expertise and rich experience of actual day-to-day working of educational institutions and the departments controlling them. It would be wholly wrong for the Court to make a pedantic and purely idealistic approach to the problems


of this nature, isolated from the actual realities and grass root problems involved in the working of the system and unmindful of the consequences which  would emanate if a purely idealistic view as opposed to pragmatic one were to be propounded.

The award of marks by an Examiner is to be fair, and considering the fact that revaluation is not permissible under the Statute, the Examiner has to be careful, cautious and has a duty to ensure that the answers are properly evaluated. No element of chance or luck should be introduced. An examination is a stepping-stone on career advancement of a student. Absence of a provision for revaluation cannot be a shield for the Examiner to arbitrarily evaluate the answer script. That would be against the very concept for which revaluation is impermissible..

In Board of Secondary Eduation v. Pravas Ranjan Panda and another, Civil Appeal Nos. 5413-5414 of 2004 Hon'ble Supreme Court by its judgment dated 13.8.2004 held that since there is no provision for revaluation, the High Court's direction was not sustainable.

In  President, Board of Secondary Education, Orissa and another vs. D. Suvankar and another, 2007 (1) ESC 35 (SC),  the Supreme Court  upheld the order of the High Court on the ground that there was difference in the two mark sheets supplied to the student. In the first mark sheet the aggregate marks indicated were 654, whereas in the second mark sheet the aggregate marks were shown to be 690. The mistake was rectified by the Board after taking a penal action against the Assistant Examiner and the Scrutinizer for his negligence. The Court, however, reiterated the position of law laid down by the Supreme Court in Maharashtra State Board of Secondary Education vs. Paritosh Bhupesh Kurmarsheth and others (supra).


This  High Court in  Kumud Singh vs. Union of India and others 2005 (1) ESC (All) 661 and  Kshitij Singh vs. Joint Secretary, Central Board of Secondary Education, Allahabad and others 2001 (3) A.W.C. 2191  has taken the same view and has held that a candidate is entitled  to the revaluation/scrutiny only if the rules made by the examining body permit such revaluation/scrutiny.

A student writing the papers in the examination may have expected to secure higher marks. Such expectation, however, cannot be a basis to summon the answer books and to re-value them unless a very good ground is made out of any gross error   with a foundation of a brilliant performance in the past or sufficient pleading of malafides based on cogent material on record.

The writ petition is dismissed with observation that if the petitioner is aggrieved by the calculation or tabulation of his marks, he may apply for scrutiny in accordance with the relevant rules.

Dt. 4.7.2007


Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites


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