The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Court glare now on HS boss

Calcutta, Sept. 16: The high court’s remarks on the “marks scandal” set off a chain reaction that has already made one head roll— that of Madhyamik board chief H.P. Sammadar.

The court struck again today — and this time, the president of the Higher Secondary council may have to face the ire of the government.

Taking up the case of a student who had been wrongly marked in four subjects in this year’s higher secondary examinations, the court observed that the “negligent” attitude of the council was leading to “undue suffering” for candidates who had appeared for the examination.

Not convinced by the reply of the council regarding the marks awarded to the Shri Shikshayatan student, the court directed the deputy secretary (examination) of the council to produce the relevant answer-scripts.

Justice Barin Ghosh observed: “The deputy secretary is hereby directed to submit a report stating why the mistake was made in the publication of the scrutiny results of the petitioner.”

The court added that “in a democratic country, government employees should be duty-bound to ensure that no student suffers due to the negligent attitude of (higher secondary) council employees.”

Earlier, the court had criticised the Madhyamik board, stating that it had been “negligent in performing its duties and during publication of results after a series of mistakes were found during the noting of marks on the tabulation sheets from the answer scripts”.

The numerous errors that have surfaced in the publication of the Madhyamik and higher secondary results are a major embarrassment for the state government. This had prompted chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to comment that the “guilty would be punished”.

Over 150 candidates of both examinations had approached the court seeking “justice” after “absurd” marksheets were given to them. So far, about 40 cases have been heard by the court.

The judge has ordered that in 30 of the cases, the respective boards should produce the answer-scripts before the court. In 10 cases, where the hearings have been completed, the board and the council have had to increase the marks of seven candidates. In the case of three candidate, the marks have been left unchanged.

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The judge examined the higher secondary answer script of another student and observed that the examiner should have been more “liberal” while marking some portions of the paper. “Had I been the examiner, I would have awarded the student a few more marks,” he said. However, he did not direct the council to change the marks allotted to the candidate.

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