Students file plea in SC alleging malpractice by school; urge CBSE to re-declare their result

It alleged that marks of students, who were denied admission in Class XI in the same school, were illegally deducted
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi (picture: PTI)
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi (picture: PTI)

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by some Class X pass-outs who have alleged that an Odisha-based school has denied providing them detailed scorecards and answer sheets to "conceal its malpractices" in awarding marks.

The plea came up for hearing before a Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar, which asked the counsel representing the petitioners to serve an advance copy of the petition to the standing counsel for the respondents concerned, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

The Bench said the matter would be listed for hearing on January 17. The plea, filed by 24 students who have passed Class X from the school in Odisha, has sought a direction to the CBSE to review and declare their result afresh on the basis of the Board's evaluation policy after collecting correct records from the school.

It said that the CBSE's Class X Board examinations were cancelled in April last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in May 2021, an assessment policy was notified by the Board.

The petition, filed through advocate Ravi Prakash, has urged the top court to direct an inquiry against the school "for illegally demanding money and putting undue pressure to take admission in Class XI in the same school to get good scores in Class X".

It has also sought directions from the school and other respondents to provide rationale documents, attendance sheets of each examination and each subject conducted by the school, and also the detailed scorecard for Class X students, which had to be prepared in terms of the evaluation policy.

The plea has sought direction from the school to provide answer sheets of the petitioners. It said an exemplary cost may be imposed on the school for causing mental trauma and harassment to the petitioner students.

The plea said the petitioners, by way of an RTI, had sought whether answer sheets and marks provided by the school in the unit test, mid-term exam and pre-Board exam can be given to the students. It said the CBSE's regional office had sent a letter to the school directing it to provide relevant data as demanded by the petitioners.

The plea said after receiving a copy of the October 29, 2021, letter from the CBSE regional office, one of the petitioners had visited the school on November 2 last year but in spite of the request and presentation of the copy of the letter, the school refused to provide the answer sheets.

"The arbitrary action of the respondent school is in clear violation of Article 14 (Equality before Law) read with Article 21 (Protection of Life and Personal Liberty) of the Constitution of India," it said.

The plea also alleged that the present case is a "glaring example which shows how corrupt educational institutions played with the education system and used the pandemic as an opportunity for unjust enrichment".

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