The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Buddha broom targets marks mess

Calcutta, Sept. 9: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said he was “perplexed” at the way students who had appeared for the Madhyamik and higher secondary examinations scored higher marks after approaching the high court.

The chief minister said he would seek an explanation from the agencies overseeing the holding of the examinations and the publication of results to find out who was responsible for the marks scandal.

Bhattacharjee said it was “appalling” that a student whose tally was zero in Bengali, his mother tongue, in higher secondary scored 41 after the candidate approached the high court.

“How is it possible' How can a son of the soil get zero in Bengali' There are serious lapses in the system and those responsible must be found out and punished,” the chief minister said.

Bhattacharjee said he would call a meeting soon on the issue and probe the matter “at the highest level” as the future of thousands of students is involved. “We have to improve the system. We will severely punish those responsible,” he added.

But the president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Haraprasad Samaddar, said: “If the chief minister has anything to tell me, let him say it to me personally. I will not comment on something which Buddhababu told the media.” The board is in charge of Madhyamik examinations and results.

The chief minister’s comments coincided with an expression of outrage by Calcutta High Court. Justice Barin Ghosh today asked the secondary board to file a report by September 30 detailing why there were so many mistakes in the results.

“Who will be responsible for the shattered dreams of students who are becoming victims of errors committed by the authorities'” the judge asked. “In a democratic country, each and every government employee should be duty-bound,” he added.

The judge’s observation came on a petition by a Madhyamik candidate, Feroz Hossain, from Hooghly district. Hossain had scored 16 in geography but his marks were revised to 65 after he filed a case.

Hossain’s lawyer Golam Mustafa informed the court that after receiving a notice, the board authorities called his client at their Salt Lake office and issued a fresh marksheet. Today, when Mustafa approached the court with a plea to wind up the case, the judge refused to accept his proposal.

In his order, Justice Ghosh said that he feared there were many other similar cases which were not coming to light because “careless parents” were not believing their wards and not approaching the authorities.

He asked the board why it was not bringing “enough transparency” in the publication of results.

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