Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Bench of SA Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, JJ dismissed all 5 petitions challenging the decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct a re-examination of the Class 12 economics paper after an alleged leak. The Bench said that it is CBSE’s discretion to conduct the re-examination and can’t be challenged in the Court.

Several petitions were filed before the Court after the CBSE said on March 28 that the Class 10 maths and Class 12 economics paper had allegedly leaked. The CBSE, however, said yesterday that it has found after assessment there was no impact of alleged paper leak of Class 10 maths paper and no re-examination would be held.

Besides challenging the CBSE’s decision to conduct retest, the petitioners also wanted a CBI probe into the alleged paper leak, saying several incidents were reported from various states and Delhi Police was not competent to hold the nation-wide probe. One of the petitioners also sought a direction to the CBSE to declare the results on the basis of the examinations already conducted.

A petition filed by the students read:

“To penalise the student community for an incident which is under investigation and without completion of that investigation/enquiry and issuing a notice on March 28, 2018 (for re-exams), affects the fundamental rights of students which is arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional.”

Source: PTI

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Human Rights Commission: The NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the incidents of papers leak of Class X and XII board examinations being conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Reportedly, two cases have been registered on charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy and some arrests have been made.
The Commission has observed that prima facie, it seems the concerned authorities have failed to keep the faith of the students, intact. The humiliation being faced by the innocent students is amounting to violation of their Rights to Dignity and Education. Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Chairperson, Central Board of Secondary Education and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development is also expected to inform the Commission about the steps taken regarding counselling of the aggrieved students and to make the process of conducting board examinations trustworthy and foolproof to avoid recurrence of such painful incidents in future.
The Commission has further observed that such instances would adversely affect the credibility of the institutions in which the students have absolute faith. The students have been undergoing trauma engulfed with helplessness, heart break and mental agony during examinations days. The parents and the teachers try their best to counsel and motivate the students to remain calm and confident these days. Several government and non-government agencies including the media also contribute to impart ancillary support to the students to deal with the anxiety, attached to the board examinations. In spite of all the best efforts made by every stake holder, if the preparations done by the students go in vain due to such demoralizing and unexpected incidents like paper leak, it would definitely shatter the enthusiasm of the young aspiring students.
According to the media reports, six students were detained by the police in Jharkhand’s Chatra district and the Crime Branch of Delhi police has also been cracking down. Several persons including administrators of some WhatsApp groups, coaching centre’s owners and tutors were questioned about the leak and as per recent media reports, three teachers have been arrested and an official of the CBSE has been placed under suspension.
Reportedly, the CBSE authorities have announced that the examinations for Class XII pertaining to the subjects in which papers were leaked, will be conducted again on 25 April, 2018. With regard to re-examination of Mathematics paper of Class X, it is informed that the decision will be taken in next 15 days. It is also reported by some newspapers that as the Class X paper leak was restricted to Delhi-NCR and Haryana, the re-test will take place in these regions only in the month of July, 2018. As stated by the CBSE authorities, the decision has been taken in the interest of the children and an inquiry into the leak is underway. The matter is being investigated into by the police and an intra departmental probe is also being conducted.

National Human Rights Commission

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Dr. AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ disposed of the matter relating to the leakage of question paper of the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary exam conducted on 16.07.2017 after the status report on the progress of the Special Investigation Team formed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court was filed before the Court. The status report showed that the SIT has summoned as many as 20 persons and has recorded their statements.

The Court, hence, noticed that since the High Court has taken up the matter in all earnest in order to find out as to whether there was any leakage in the examination paper or not and has also taken steps as mentioned above, the High Court would be best suited to monitor the investigation which is being carried out by the SIT.

The High Court had, on 18.09.2017, constituted a 3-member Special Investigating Team comprising of Ravi Kumar Singh, IPS, Superintendent of Police (Crime and Investigation); Krishan Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Security & Operation) and Inspector Poonam Dilawari.

It is important to note that on 14.09.2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a public notice stating that it has scrapped the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary Exam held on 16.07.2017 in the light of the paper leak allegations. [Suman v. State of Haryana, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1455, order dated 08.12.2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary exam paper leak controversy, the 3-judge bench of Rajesh Bindal, Tajan Gupta and GS Sandhawalia, JJ, has constituted a 3-member Special Investigating Team comprising of Ravi Kumar Singh, IPS, Superintendent of Police (Crime and Investigation); Krishan Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Security & Operation) and Inspector Poonam Dilawari.

Earlier, the counsel appearing for the High Court had urged before the Court that if the investigation is to be done by a Special Investigating Team then it should be done by senior officers only. Hence, the Court had, on 15.09.2017, asked Randeep Singh Rai, Public Prosecutor, UT Chandigarh to furnish a list of senior officers who can be a part of the SIT.  Consequently, Tejinder Singh Luthra, Director General of Police, U.T., Chandigarh, appeared in person and he, along with Randeep Singh Rai, submitted a list of officers.

On 15.09.2017, the Court had also suspended Dr. Balwinder Sharma, Registrar (Recruitment) after the Recruitment/Promotion/ Court Creation Committee (Subordinate Judicial Services) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, submitted in it’s report that there was, prima facie, material suggesting that he was involved in the paper leak as there were total 760 calls and SMSs exchanged between Dr. Balwinder Sharma and Sunita, one of the canditates who has allegedly leaked the paper, during last one year.

On 14.09.2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a public notice stating that it has scrapped the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary Exam held on 16.07.2017 in the light of the paper leak allegations. The date of re-exam will be notified soon. [Suman v. State of Haryana, CRM-M No.28947 of 2017, order dated 18.09.2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab & Haryana High Court: In the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary exam paper leak controversy, the 3-judge bench of Rajesh Bindal, Tajan Gupta and GS Sandhawalia, JJ, has suspended Dr. Balwinder Sharma, Registrar (Recruitment) after the Recruitment/Promotion/ Court Creation Committee (Subordinate Judicial Services) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, submitted in it’s report that there was, prima facie, material suggesting that he was involved in the paper leak.

On 13.09.2017, it was submitted before the Court that there were total 760 calls and SMSs exchanged between Dr. Balwinder Sharma and Sunita, one of the canditates who has allegedly leaked the paper, during last one year. The Committee had recommended the Court that since atleast two candidates namely Sunita and Sushila had the question papers, the possibility that other candidates may have also had access to the question paper cannot be ruled out and hence, an FIR should be lodged against Sunita, Sushila and Dr. Balwinder Sharma.

The Court, after considering the fact that the exam was held in Chandigarh and the alleged conversations and Transaction also took place in Chndigarh, directed that the FIR be registered in Chandigarh. The Court also made it clear that the investigation in the matter will be done by Chandigarh Police only.

Accepting the contention of the counsel appearing for the High Court that if the investigation is to be done by a Special Investigating Team then it should be done by senior officers only, the Court asked Randeep Singh Rai, Public Prosecutor, UT Chandigarh to submit a list of senior officers who can be a part of the SIT. The Court now hear the matter on 18.09.2017.

On 14.09.2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a public notice stating that it has scrapped the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary Exam held on 16.07.2017 in the light of the paper leak allegations. The date of re-exam will be notified soon. [Suman v. State of Haryana, 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 2340, order dated 15.09.2017]

Hot Off The PressNews

On 14.09.2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a public notice stating that it has scrapped the Haryana Judicial Services Preliminary Exam held on 16.07.2017 in the light of the paper leak allegations.

on 13.09.2017, the Recruitment/Promotion/ Court Creation Committee (Subordinate Judicial Services) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has submitted a report before the 3 judge bench of Rajesh Bindal, Tajan Gupta and GS Sandhawalia, JJ, stating that  some of the candidates had access to the question paper and hence, it recommended scrapping of Haryana Judicial Services preliminary examination held on 16.7.2017. It was said that since atleast two candidates namely Sunita and Sushila had the question papers, the possibility that other candidates may have also had access to the question paper cannot be ruled out. According to the finding of the Committee, there were total 760 calls and SMSs exchanged between Dr. Balwinder Sharma, Registrar (Recruitment) and Sunita, one of the canditates who has allegedly leaked the paper, during last one year.

The Court, hence, asked the Registrar (Vigilance) of the High Court to direct the service providers of the mobile connections of all the persons involved at this stage to preserve the call details, messages exchanged and any further data available with them with reference to those telephones for a period of one year and had listed the matter to be taken up on 15.09.2017.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab & Haryana High Court: In the matter where 2 candidates who had topped the Haryana Civil Services (Judicial) examination in General & reserved category, were alleged to have leaked the paper for money, the 3-judge bench of Rajesh Bindal, Tajan Gupta and GS Sandhawalia, JJ had asked the Recruitment/Promotion/ Court Creation Committee (Subordinate Judicial Services) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to submit a report on the matter.

As per the prima facie finding of the Committee, some of the candidates had access to the question paper and hence, it recommended scrapping of Haryana Judicial Services preliminary examination held on 16.7.2017. It was said that since atleast two candidates namely Sunita and Sushila had the question papers, the possibility that other candidates may have also had access to the question paper cannot be ruled out.

According to the finding of the Committee, there were total 760 calls and SMSs exchanged between Dr. Balwinder Sharma, Registrar (Recruitment) and Sunita, one of the canditates who has allegedly leaked the paper, during last one year. It was hence, recommended that disciplinary action against Dr. Balwinder Sharma, be taken and he should be transferred forthwith from the post pending further action. It was further recommended that FIR be registered for further probe regarding leakage of question paper.

The Court, hence, asked the Registrar (Vigilance) of the High Court to direct the service providers of the mobile connections of all the persons involved at this stage to preserve the call details, messages exchanged and any further data available with them with reference to those telephones for a period of one year.

On 12.09.2017, the Supreme Court had refused to transfer the matter to Delhi High Court.

The Court will now hear the matter on 15.09.2017. [Suman v. State of Haryana, 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 2313, order dated 13.09.2017]