Click Here To Read LiveLaw Hindi- The First Hindi Legal News Website

Details Of Marks In Civil Service Examination Can’t Be Disclosed Mechanically Under RTI [Read Order]

If a case is made out where the court finds that public interest requires furnishing of information, the court is certainly entitled to so require in a given fact situation. If rules or practice so require, certainly such rule or practice can be enforced, said the Bench.

The Supreme Court, in UPSC v Angesh Kumar, while setting aside a high court judgment has observed that information sought with regard to details of marks in Civil Services Exam cannot be directed to be furnished mechanically.

Some candidates, who were unsuccessful in the Civil Services (Prelims) Examination, had approached the high court seeking a direction to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to disclose the details of marks (raw and scaled) awarded to them in the Civil Services (Prelims) Examination 2010. They had sought information in the form of cut-off marks for every subject, scaling methodology, model answers and complete result of all candidates were also sought. The high court had allowed their plea directing the commission to provide the information within 15 days. The commission approached the apex court assailing this order.

The commission contended before the apex court that where information is likely to conflict with other public interest, including efficient operation of the government, optimum use of fiscal resources and preservation of confidentiality of some sensitive information, exclusion of right or information can be applied in a given fact situation. It also submitted that the exclusion by sections 8, 9 and 11 of the RTI Act is not exhaustive and parameters under third recital of the preamble of the Act can also be taken into account.

Third recital of the Preamble of the Act reads: “And whereas revelation of information in actual practice is likely to conflict with other public interests including efficient operations of the Governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information.”

With regard to this contention, the bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit observed: “While balancing the right to information, public interest including efficient working of the Government, optimum use of fiscal resources and preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information has to be balanced and can be a guiding factor to deal with a given situation de hors Sections 8, 9 and 11. The High Court has not applied the said parameters.”

The bench also observed that weighing the need for transparency and accountability on the one hand and requirement of optimum use of fiscal resources and confidentiality of sensitive information on the other, the information sought with regard to marks in Civil Services Exam cannot be directed to be furnished mechanically.

“Situation of exams of other academic bodies may stand on different footing. Furnishing raw marks will cause problems as pleaded by the UPSC as quoted above which will not be in public interest,” the bench observed while setting aside the high court order.

However, the bench also clarified that if a case is made out where the court finds that public interest requires furnishing of information, the court is certainly entitled to so require in a given fact situation. If rules or practice so require, certainly such rule or practice can be enforced, the bench added.

Read the Order Here

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

  • Dr V S Prasanna Rajan says:

    The Supreme court of India in its decision in – in CIVIL APPEAL NO.(s).6159-6162 OF 2013- UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ETC Vs ANGESH KUMAR & ORS. ETC.- has laid down an erroneous position of law is laid down to deny information under RTI Act, 2005 even based on grounds not mentioned in Sections 8(1),9,11 but based on the third part of the preamble of the RTI Act, 2005.

    In para.7 of the judgment it held that information can be denied dehors Sections 8,9,11. Moreover, information in appropriate cases can be denied based on the third part of the preamble of the RTI Act, 2005, thereby making the third part of the preamble of the statute being justiciable.

    The Aforementioned observation of the Supreme court of India, is patently erroneous for the following reasons:

    (a) It is judicially settled that the preamble is not justiciable.

    (b) A 13 judge bench in Keshavananda Bharathi case held that even the preamble of the constitution, though it is a part of the constitution is not justiciable. The preamble of the constitution is neither a source of power nor the source of limitations.

    (c) Hence, when even the preamble of the constitution of India being held not justiciable by a 13 judge bench, the preamble of the statute, which is subordinate to the constitution, cannot be justiciable.

    (d) The two judge bench is bound by the settled position of law by the 13 judge bench with regard to the non-justiciability of the preamble of the constitution, which is superior to the statute.

    (e) Hence, by virtue of its observations in para.7 of the judgment, the Honorable Supreme Court, in essence, made the third part of the preamble of the RTI Act, 2005 as justiciable, which is clearly untenable in law for the reasons mentioned above.

    (f) The said judgment will pave way for the public information officers to deny those information which are otherwise disclosable by relying on the third part of the preamble of the RTI Act, 2005, which will lead to harassment of the RTI applicants leading to avoidable litigation even up to the supreme court.

    (g) Hence, the error so detailed herein before being apparent on the face of record, the Honorable Supreme Court of India, in exercise of its inherent powers can correct the same in the larger interest of justice by promoting the right to information within the contours delineated by the constitution of India

  • Manav says:

    Why so? What is so special about this examination? We must appreciate that transparency leads to fairness. There are many grey areas in this examination, like normalization of different subjects which is always having prejudice. Supreme court should always be on the side of transparency and fairness.

Top