A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by some class 10 pass out students who have alleged that an Odisha-based school has denied providing them detailed scorecard and answer sheets to “conceal its malpractices” in awarding marks. The plea came up for hearing before a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar, which asked the counsel representing the petitioners to serve an advance copy of the petition to the standing counsel for the respondents concerned, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The bench said the matter would be listed for hearing on January 17. The plea, filed by 24 students who have passed out class 10 from the school in Odisha, has sought a direction to the CBSE to review and declare their result afresh on the basis of the board’s evaluation policy after collecting correct records from the school.
It said the CBSE’s class 10 board examinations were cancelled in April last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in May 2021, assessment policy was notified by the board. The petition, filed through advocate Ravi Prakash, has urged the top court to direct an inquiry against the school “for illegally demanding money and putting undue pressure to take admission in class 11 in the same school to get good scores in class 10”.
It has also sought directions to the school and other respondents to provide rationale documents, attendance sheets of each examination and each subject conducted by the school and also the detailed scorecard for class 10 students which had to be prepared in terms of the evaluation policy.
The plea has sought direction to the school to provide answer sheets of the petitioners. It said an exemplary cost may be imposed on the school for causing mental trauma and harassment to the petitioner students.
The plea said the petitioners, by way of RTI, had sought whether answer sheets and marks provided by the school in unit test, mid-term exam and pre-board exam can be given to the students. It said the CBSE’s regional office had sent a letter to the school directing it to provide relevant data as demanded by the petitioners.
The plea said after receiving a copy of the October 29, 2021 letter from the CBSE regional office, one of the petitioners had visited the school on November 2 last year but in spite of the request and presentation of the copy of the letter, the school refused to provide the answer sheets. It alleged that marks of students, who were denied to take admission in class 11 in the same school, were illegally deducted.
“The arbitrary action of the respondent school is in clear violation of Article 14 (equality before law) read with Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution of India,” it said. The plea also alleged that the present case is a “glaring example which shows how corrupt educational institutions played with the education system and used the pandemic as an opportunity for unjust enrichment”.