By YKA Staff:
Students will now be able to obtain a photocopy of their evaluated answer-scripts from the CBSE under the Right to Information Court, the Supreme Court has said in a judgment dated August 16. YKA had reported earlier this year that a contempt petition had been filed in the apex court by law students against the CBSE, which has been charging exorbitant fees for providing answer-scripts since 2014.
The Supreme Court had ruled in a 2011 case that copies of answer sheets should be provided to students if a request to the CBSE is made to that effect under the RTI Act within three months of its evaluation. However, when Ishwin Mehta of WHIP (Whistle for Public Interest), an organisation run by law students, filed an RTI in December last year asking the CBSE the procedure for obtaining answer-sheets, the Board replied that it did not provide the same under the RTI. It said that such requests are entertained only when “following the procedure for verification of marks.”
This process being followed since 2014, the Board had said in its reply, also required the student to pay a fee between Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000. Since an RTI request only requires one to pay Rs. 10 as the application fee and Rs. 2 per page for each page of information sought, the students had asked the CBSE to “quash this Unfair Practice (sic) and Arbitrary Rules” citing the apex court judgment in the 2011 case. When the CBSE did not respond to their representation, Kumar Shanu and Paras Jain, both law students, filed a contempt petition.
The Supreme Court has now again directed the CBSE to “scrupulously observe” its directions in the 2011 case and the rules framed under the RTI Act.