Contempt Petition Filed In SC Against Fee Prescribed By CBSE for Obtaining Class X and XII Evaluated Answer Books

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A contempt petition is filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court Of India against the Central Board Of Secondary Education( CBSE) under Section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.

Contempt proceedings were filed against CBSE for willfully and deliberately disobeying the explicit direction given in a 2011 Supreme Court Judgement in “CBSE & Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandhopadhyay & Ors.” (Civil Appeal No. 6454/2011) and a 2016 Supreme Court Order passed in “Kumar Shanu and Anr. Vs. YSK Seshu Kumar, Chairman, CBSE” Contempt Petition (Civil) No. 9837/2016 in Civil Appeal No. 6454/2011.

The 2011 Judgement ruled that Answer-Script is an information under Right to Information Act, 2005 and the examinees have a right to inspect their answer-sheets and obtain the copies thereof. The 2016 Order directs the CBSE to observe the 2011 order seriously.

The Supreme Court observed in the 2011 Judgement:

…The definition of Information in Section-2(f) of the RTI Act refers to any material in any form which includes records, documents, opinions, papers among several other enumerated items. The term `record’ is defined in section 2(i) of the said Act as including any document, manuscript or file among others. When a candidate participates in an examination and writes his answers in an answer book and submits it to the examining body for evaluation and declaration of the result, the answer book is a document or record. When the answer book is evaluated by an examiner appointed by the examining body, the evaluated answer book becomes a record containing the `opinion’ of the examiner. Therefore the evaluated answer book is also an`information’ under the RTI Act.”

The petition submits that CBSE has published an arbitrary and unfair notification dated 31/05/2018 wherein it has prescribed the same exorbitant fee of Rs 1000/- (X Class) and Rs 1200/- (XII Class) for obtaining the evaluated answer-sheets copies. The same illegal charge was levied by CBSE in 2017. The Fundamental and Legal Rights of the students are being , therefore, violated.

The Petition further submitted:

“This practice…of issuing notice every year prescribing exorbitant fee in contrary to the law laid by this Hon’ble Court is a clear attempt to surpass and to overrule the supreme authority of this Hon’ble Court…the information of evaluated answer-sheets is retained…for a limited time period of 30-45 days, after which such information shall be destructed. If the immediate direction…is not given…to preserve the vital information of evaluated answer-sheets, it shall lead to miscarriage of justice.”