The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was pulled up by the Delhi High Court for causing hardship to students by not notifying on its site that re-evaluation was permissible in all subjects of class 12. The court's remarks came after it was told that the Board was reluctant to accept applications for re-evaluation after the high court on July 6 had directed CBSE to re-evaluate the answer sheets of all the subjects of all students who wrote the class 12 examination this year and were seeking re- evaluation.
The Board, in its defense, contended that the deadline for accepting applications was July 7, as per an earlier order of the high court, and added that re-evaluation cannot be an open-ended exercise.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, however, did not accept the CBSE's argument and said, "Why did you not post our order online on your website? You gave the students only one-day's time (on July 7) to apply for re-evaluation without even informing them about our decision (of July 6)." The court also said that once it passed the July 6 order, the deadline no longer applied. In its July 6 order the high court had said that "the relief (of re-evaluation) is not confined only to the petitioners before it and shall be admissible to all the similarly situated students who seek re-evaluation of their answer sheets".
During the proceedings, the court told the lawyers, appearing for some students whose answer sheets were not re- evaluated by the Board, to file an application and said it would pass appropriate orders thereafter.
The observations came during hearing of a plea filed by four students against the CBSE's June 28 notice imposing certain conditions with regard to re-evaluation of answer sheets. The high court had set aside the conditions that the right of applying for scrutiny was limited to 12 subjects only, with maximum 10 questions per subject and a revised mark sheet would be issued only if the marks increased by five or were reduced by one.
The marks of all four petitioner students saw substantial increase, their lawyers told the bench which said to CBSE, "Have you looked at the disparity? 64 marks have become 93 (in one case). That is too much." When the Board said that in most cases the increase was of only one of two marks, the court remarked that "even one mark makes a lot of difference". The matter has now been fixed for further hearing on August 29.
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