10 May 2023 7:46 AM GMT
The Supreme Court has reiterated that directions interfering with the examination process by way of calling for answer-sheets, recording a finding on non- evaluation or mandating the process of re-evaluation cannot be issued by courts. The bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and J. B. Pardiwala was hearing BSNL's appeals against the 29.3.2012 decision of the Kerala High Court whereby the...
The Supreme Court has reiterated that directions interfering with the examination process by way of calling for answer-sheets, recording a finding on non- evaluation or mandating the process of re-evaluation cannot be issued by courts.
The bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and J. B. Pardiwala was hearing BSNL's appeals against the 29.3.2012 decision of the Kerala High Court whereby the High Court proceeded to dismiss the writ petitions filed by BSNL against the directions issued by the CAT, Ernakulam Bench in relation to the departmental examination to the following effect-
"(a) The respondent shall take out a few sample answer sheets in paper V to ascertain whether the answers based on Works Manual were properly evaluated and if so, the applicants be accordingly informed. (b) In case evaluation was not proper in that answers as per the CPWD Manual have been preferred to Works Manual, then, the respondents shall segregate those cases wherein the candidates had failed only in Paper V. (c) These papers be got evaluated by some other examiners and the results compiled and those who have qualified in all the papers be arranged on merit basis and accommodated against the balance of the vacancies out of 172 initial vacancies. The results of already qualified candidates shall not be disturbed. (d) The results be declared to all the candidates as per the normal practice of declaration of results"
The bench of Justices Maheshwari and Pardiwala was also seized of a connected appeal by BSNL against the order dated 12.03.2012 of the Division Bench of the Madras High Court in a Writ Petition, whereby the High Court reversed the order dated 14.09.2011 as passed by the CAT, Madras Bench and accepted the case of the present respondent (who was working as the Telecom Technical Assistant at the office of the Sub-Divisional Engineer, BSNL) of want of evaluation of some of the answers given by him in the departmental examination conducted in 2010 (for promotion to the post of Junior Accounts Officer). The Madras High Court further proceeded to direct the appellants to award the marks of the allegedly left out answers
As regards the appeals against the decision of the Kerala High Court, the bench of Justices Maheshwari and Pardiwala observed, "We are clearly of the view that such directions, interfering with the examination process and mandating the process of re-evaluation or sample evaluation and then recasting of merits, could not have been issued"
The bench continued to note, "In the case of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences v. Dr. Yerra Trinadh & Ors., this Court has, after referring to various previous decisions, thoroughly disapproved the process of the Court calling for answer sheets for satisfying as to whether there was a need for re- evaluation or not and thereafter, issuing directions for re-evaluation....The said principles squarely apply to the present case too"
In view of the above, the appeals succeeded and were allowed, and the impugned order of 29.03.2012 as passed by the High Court as also the impugned orders as passed by the Tribunal which were in challenge before the High Court were set aside.
As regards the appeal against the order of the Madras High Court, the bench of Justices Maheshwari and Pardiwala observed, "In the present case, the High Court has proceeded not only to record a finding on non- evaluation but thereafter, has proceeded to record rather assumptive findings as if those pages, when evaluated, were likely to result only in positive marks in favour of the respondent. In fact, adopting of such a course and process has not been countenanced by this Court and it has repeatedly been observed that all such steps ought to be left to the authority concerned and in fact, re-evaluation is not to be resorted to when not provided for in the Rules"
The bench further noted, "We are not entering into the aspect as to whether the said answers at page 27 and 29 were evaluated or not but, prima facie, with reference to the photo-replica placed before us, it cannot be said that the answer as a whole had not been evaluated by the examiner. In fact, we do not wish to make any further comment beyond this for, we are clearly of the view, that if at all anything of such a nature was to be examined with reference to the instructions said to have been issued by the government, the only appropriate course for the High Court was to leave it for the authorities concerned to examine, as was the course adopted by the Tribunal in the said order dated 04.11.2011"
The bench continued to state that "Yet another aspect of the matter had been that the High Court was considering a writ petition arising from the order of the Tribunal" and that "In such a writ petition, adopting the course of factual analysis and rendering the finding on facts was not warranted" and "The course as adopted by the High Court and the directions as finally issued cannot be countenanced"
In the aforesaid view of the matter, the appeal succeeded and was allowed; the impugned order dated 12.03.2012 was set aside
Case Title : Chief General Manager, BSNL vs MJ Paul and others
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 414
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