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Public Examinations: Supreme Court Deprecates Practice Of Re-evaluation And Scrutiny Of Answer Sheets By Courts

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
8 Dec 2020 4:02 AM GMT
Public Examinations: Supreme Court Deprecates Practice Of Re-evaluation And Scrutiny Of Answer Sheets By Courts
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"Courts should be very slow in interfering with expert opinion in academic matters"

The Supreme Court has observed that assessment of the questions and answer key of public examinations by the courts itself is not permissible.The court was considering an appeal filed against a Rajasthan High Court judgment in which it had examined the correctness of the questions and Answer Keys of an examination conducted by Rajasthan Public Service Commission to the post of Senior...

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The Supreme Court has observed that assessment of the questions and answer key of public examinations by the courts itself is not permissible.

The court was considering an appeal filed against a Rajasthan High Court judgment in which it had examined the correctness of the questions and Answer Keys of an examination conducted by Rajasthan Public Service Commission to the post of Senior Teacher (Grade II) in Social Science and held that the answer key to 5 questions was erroneous

Disagreeing with this approach of the High Court, the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi observed that though re-evaluation can be directed if rules permit,  the practice of reevaluation and scrutiny of the questions by the courts which lack expertise in academic matters is to be deprecated. 

"It is not permissible for the High Court to examine the question papers and answer sheets itself, particularly when the Commission has assessed the inter se merit of the candidates (Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission v. Mukesh Thakur & Anr.)  Courts have to show deference and consideration to the recommendation of the Expert Committee who have the expertise to evaluate and make recommendations [See Basavaiah (Dr.) v. Dr. H.L. Ramesh & Ors.) . Examining the scope of judicial review with regards to reevaluation of answer sheets, this Court in Ran Vijay Singh & Ors. v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. held that court should not re-evaluate or scrutinize the answer sheets of a candidate as it has no expertise in the matters and the academic matters are best left to academics.

The bench observed that it was not open to the Division Bench to have examined the correctness of the questions and the answer key to come to a conclusion different from that of the Expert Committee. The court, while dismissing the appeals, further observed:

"A perusal of the above judgments would make it clear that courts should be very slow in interfering with expert opinion in academic matters. In any event, assessment of the questions by the courts itself to arrive at correct answers is not permissible. The delay in finalization of appointments to public posts is mainly caused due to pendency of cases challenging selections pending in courts for a long period of time. The cascading effect of delay in appointments is the continuance of those appointed on temporary basis and their claims for regularization. The other consequence resulting from delayed appointments to public posts is the serious damage caused to administration due to lack of sufficient personnel."
Case: Vikesh Kumar Gupta vs. State of Rajasthan [Civil Appeal Nos.3649–3650 of 2020]
Coram: Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi 

Click here to Read/Download Judgment

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https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2019/28550/28550_2019_35_1501_24973_Judgement_07-Dec-2020.pdf

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