The Patna High Court yesterday ordered the Bihar School Examination Board to give "one mark" for an unchecked answer in Hindi paper of a girl, who had secured the second rank in the state in matriculation examination last year.
A bench of Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh also slapped a cost of Rs 5 lakh on the Board, "which, instead of fairly accepting the claim of petitioner had chosen to invite a verdict from the court".
The bench passed the order on the plea of Bhavya Kumari, a resident of Begusarai district and alumni of a girls' residential school at Simultala in Jamui. She had secured 460 marks out of 500 in the examination, the results of which had been declared in June 2017.
The girl had moved the court after perusing her answer scripts secured through a transparency plea under the Right to Information Act.
The girl had claimed under-evaluation of her Hindi, Sanskrit and Social Sciences papers, seeking a direction to the Board for their re-evaluation, but the court made it clear that it would not interfere with the correctness of the experts' decision in evaluating the paper.
The court, however, took exception to the fact that the Board, despite conceding that one of the questions worth one mark in her Hindi paper had not been evaluated, it "put the blame on the child for not applying for scrutiny of her answer sheets."
"The Board... as a statutory body, has acted in most irresponsible manner while contesting the case of the petitioner," said the bench, while allowing the girl's plea and imposing the "exemplary cost" on the Board.
The court ordered the payment of Rs 5 lakh to the principal of the girl's school "within three months", stipulating its use for purchasing books and computers for improvement of the school library.
As a parting note, the court also ordered the BSEB for placing on its website "the answer-sheets of all the top ten scorers in the Board examinations for classes 10 and 12 in future "to minimize the scope for recurrence of such controversies".
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