The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Court rap for Board delay
- Madhyamik review scripts not produced, 34 students lose a year

Ambalika Hazra, of Burdwan’s Sevak Sangha High School, had refused to accept her Madhyamik results last year. Her marksheet showed she had failed, but she couldn’t quite figure out how. Like many other students unhappy with their Madhyamik results, she had moved Calcutta High Court for “justice”.

Unlike some other students who had their marks increased by the Madhyamik Board at the behest of the court, Ambalika kept on waiting, in vain.

Dissatisfied with the Board’s explanations about Ambalika’s results, on November 1 last year, the court had asked for her answer-scripts. The Board sought time, the court demurred and the same story kept repeating itself, till suddenly, everyone realised that it was time for this year’s Madhyamik examination.

On Monday, Madhyamik 2003 gets underway and Ambalika isn’t one of the examinees. She has lost a year waiting in the hope that the Board would produce her answer-scripts, “the errors” would come to light and be rectified.

It is little consolation for Ambalika that there are 28 other candidates of Madhyamik 2002 who, like her, had failed to clear the exams and had appealed to the court for relief. In all their cases — as well as six others who had cleared the examinations but were unhappy with their marks — the Board failed to produce their answer-scripts.

On Friday, the court finally decided to set a deadline and bring the Board to book. When the counsel for the Board appeared in the court of Justice A.K. Mitra and prayed for more time to produce Ambalika’s answer-script, the judge burst out: “Do you think this is a mockery' Do you think this is why we are here' There is the career of a student involved here and you are not paying enough attention to it. What is the reason for this'”

Demanding an explanation for this “callousness”, Justice Mitra added: “Why is your client (the Board) not taking appropriate action against the officials responsible for ruining the careers of students'”

Setting April 4 as the deadline for producing the answerscript, Justice Mitra said he would award the aggrieved student compensation if the Board failed to comply. Ambalika’s lawyer, Subrata Mukherjee, said the court had been “kind enough” to repeatedly extend the time given to the Board to produce the scripts. “Who will compensate for what the girl has suffered'” he asked.

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