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Delhi Judicial Service Exam- Answer Key To Be Subjected To Judicial Review Only When It Is Demonstrably Wrong: Delhi High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
1 Dec 2020 11:05 AM GMT
Delhi Judicial Service Exam- Answer Key To Be Subjected To Judicial Review Only When It Is Demonstrably Wrong: Delhi High Court
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In a case relating to Delhi Higher Judiciary Service Preliminary Examination, Delhi High Court has observed that an answer key cannot be disregarded as being incorrect merely on a doubt.There is always a presumption of correctness regarding the answer key and it may be subject to judicial review only when it is "demonstrably wrong" i.e. it must be such as no reasonable body of...

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In a case relating to Delhi Higher Judiciary Service Preliminary Examination, Delhi High Court has observed that an answer key cannot be disregarded as being incorrect merely on a doubt.

There is always a presumption of correctness regarding the answer key and it may be subject to judicial review only when it is "demonstrably wrong" i.e. it must be such as no reasonable body of men well-versed in the particular subject would regard it as correct, the bench comprising Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula observed.

The court observed this while dismissing a writ petition that sought modification of answer key with regard to some questions of the Delhi Higher Judiciary Service Preliminary Examination (Objective Type) held earlier this year. One of the impugned question was on the relevant criteria while sentencing the accused in an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1998, the relevant criteria. As per the answer key, the answer to the question was Deterrence & Denunciation. Referring to the report filed by Examination-cum-Judicial Education and Training Programme Committee of Hon'ble Judges, the bench observed:

"In the present case, the Examination-cum-Judicial Education and Training Programme Committee has considered the queries raised by the petitioner at length and given detailed reasons as to why the impugned answer key is the single, objective, correct answer of the four options provided in the exam. In our view, there is no other answer that can possibly be "correct"."

The court, referring to a judgment in n Ran Vijay Singh & Ors. vs. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors., (2018) 2 SCC 357 discussed the scope of Court interference with the results of an examination It said: 

"This Court is of the view that the petitioner has sought to reap the benefit of the observations of this Court in Sumit Kumar vs High Court of Delhi (supra) without actually following the standard/test of judicial review discussed thereunder. . (emphasis supplied) 14. The Division Bench of this Court in the aforesaid judgment, after discussing several judgments of the Supreme Court on the same matter, held that a candidate could not be penalized for answers at variance with the key only if the answer key was proven to be incorrect beyond doubt. However, it is relevant to note that according to the said judgment, an answer key cannot be disregarded as being incorrect merely on a doubt. The Court had reiterated the settled law that there is always a presumption of correctness regarding the answer key and it may be subject to judicial review only when it is "demonstrably wrong" i.e. it must be such as no reasonable body of men well-versed in the particular subject would regard it as correct."

Dismissing the writ petition, the bench observed that the petitioner failed to demonstrate that the impugned questions and answer keys are inherently incorrect or manifest injustice has occurred in the present case.

CASE: SHIVNATH TRIPATHI vs. REGISTRAR GENERAL HIGH COURT OF DELHI [W.P. (C) 7346/2020]
CORAM: Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula

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