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Court Cannot Be Mute Spectator: Kerala High Court Directs University To Award Average Marks In Missing Answer Sheet Case

Hannah M Varghese
15 Sep 2021 4:34 AM GMT
Conduction of Physical Examination

The Kerala High Court has directed the University of Kerala to award average marks to a student whose answer sheets had gone missing during transit, taking into account her record in other examinations.

Justice Amit Rawal ruled so while disposing of a plea filed by a student who was instructed to take admission in the B.Ed course to improve her educational profile after she was declared failed due to her answer papers gone missing.

The petitioner was in the 2018 batch of M.Com in St.Gregorios College and had completed all the semesters except the 2nd semester since she was pregnant then.

Accordingly, she gave the supplementary examination held between 19.06.2020 to 29.06.2020. However, when the results were published on 07.07.2021, she was declared as failed in End Semester Assessment.

It was noted that the marks obtained in the subject 'E-business and Cyber Laws' were shown as blank. Upon enquiry, it was found that certain bundles of the answer sheets submitted by the college to the University have been misplaced.

Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj appeared for the petitioner in the matter.

The only apprehension expressed is that the petitioner has to take a further step in improving her educational profile by taking admission in the B.Ed course, as the last date was 6th September 2021, which has now been extended to 16.9.2021.

In an identical matter in 2007, where the answer sheet submitted by the college were lost, the Court by taking into consideration the bye-laws and the guidelines of the University of Kerala, directed to grant average marks considering the previous papers, though as per the regulations of the University in case of non-retrievability of the answer sheet, the candidate is permitted to sit in another examination without charging the fee.

Standing Counsel for the University Advocate Thomas Abraham submitted that despite their concerted efforts to retrieve the answer sheets, they were not found.

In anticipation thereof, a meeting of the Syndicate was scheduled soon. However, the Counsel pointed out that the University was not against the Court issuing a direction since the petitioner has to undertake admission in B.Ed for which the last date for submission of the admission form is 16th September 2021.

The Court noted that clause 12(b) of the Revised Guidelines for Revaluation of Answer books of University Examinations of Kerala University revealed that the candidate in such circumstances is permitted to sit in the examination without charging the fees.

"This Court cannot remain as a mute spectator as to whether the scheduled meeting would culminate into some effective decision or not as, by that time, the last date of submission of the application for B.Ed may expire."

Therefore, the Bench disposed of the writ petition by issuing directions to the Controller of Examinations of the University of Kerala to ponder the task of awarding the average marks keeping in view her record and result in the other examinations and declare the result by 14th of September, 2021.

Case Title: Safna K.M. v. University of Kerala & Ors

Click Here To Read The Order

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