Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Sudhir Agarwal and Rajendra Kumar, JJ. allowed a writ petition for revaluation of answer-sheet due to an error found in the evaluation. 

This writ petition under Article 226 of Constitution of India had been filed by a student undergoing a medical course in S. N. Medical College, Agra affiliated to Dr B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra. The petition assails the irresponsible and unaccountable act of examiners in performance of their duty of evaluation of answer sheets causing great loss to examinees.

Learned counsel for the petitioner Zain Abbas informed the Court that the petitioner appeared in M.B.B.S. Examination. In the second paper of Physiology, out of 50 he was awarded only 6 marks. Thus, he secured only 344 marks out of 600, and was declared fail. He submitted an application for scrutiny of marks and rechecking of the answer sheet, but no action was taken by University. Thereafter, under the provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005 he applied for a copy of the answer sheet of the above paper. Answer sheet was supplied to the petitioner which showed that it was not evaluated by the examiner at all. In an abrupt manner, in three questions, he was awarded 2 marks each, though no answer was found wrong. Thus, the petitioner prayed before the Court to direct the university to revaluate his answer sheet and allow the cost of the proceeding in his favour.

The Court after hearing the facts of the case directed the respondent to send the answer sheet of the petitioner to three different places and to report to the Court once the revaluation is completed. After the revaluation, the Court found that all the three examiners had awarded almost similar marks to the petitioner and the marks awarded by them was far more than the marks awarded by the college. The Court thus observed that it was evident that examiner had not awarded marks by application of mind and it then stood fortified from the evaluation made by three expert examiners. Court further said that such examiner/evaluator is a blot on the pious position and entire community of teachers has no right to continue to function as a teacher. The Court thus allowed the petition and directed the university to award average marks of three examiners, to be awarded to petitioner, and accordingly correct his marks sheet and result and allow him to appear in further examinations accordingly. Court also found it appropriate to award a cost of Rs 1 lakh.[Devarsh Nath Gupta v. State of Uttar Pradesh, Writ C No. 871 of 2019, decided on 21-05-2019]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Central Information Commission (CIC): The Bench of Sudhir Bhargava, CIC, while dealing with an issue in respect of Electronic Voting Machine stated that EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) is information under RTI Act.

In the present case, the appellant had filed the application under Right To Information Act, 2005 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Election Commission of India seeking an Electronic Voting Machine. Appellant filed the second appeal on the grounds that the respondent wrongly denied the information.

Contentions placed by the appellant:

Appellant stated that as per Section 2(f) and 2(i) of the RTI Act, the definition of ‘information’ and ‘record’ includes model or any sample which ultimately qualifies EVM as “information” and should be provided to him under Section 6(1) of the RTI Act. Appellant further requested the commission to direct CPIO, ECI to provide the desired information to him free of cost and impose a penalty against CPIO under Section 20 of RTI Act.

Conclusion [Decision taken by CIC]

CIC Bench concluded its order by stating the definition of information under Section 2(f) of RTI Act, i.e.

Section 2(f) – “Information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, order, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.”

Therefore, noting the above, the Commission stated that EVM is available in a material form and also as samples, as admitted by the respondent during the hearing, is information under the RTI Act. The contention that the software installed in the EVM is an intellectual property of a third party, disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of the third party concerned, commission directed the CPIO, ECI to provide an appropriate reply, as per the provisions of the RTI Act, since it could not have been denied under Section 6(1) of the Act.

With the above position of facts and circumstances along with the conclusion pronounced, the appeal was disposed of. [Razak K. Haidar v. CPIO, Election Commission of India, Order dated 11-02-2019]