The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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HS council turn to seek script reprieve

Hoping to get a respite from having to repeatedly produce answer-scripts of examinees on instructions from the court, the Council for West Bengal Higher Secondary Education has decided to take the route that the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, which conducts the ICSE and ISC exams, had recently taken.

A fortnight ago, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination had moved the division bench of the high court stating that its existing norms did not allow it to produce answer-scripts of students before the court. This was in response to a trial court order asking it to produce the answer-script of an ISC examinee who had petitioned the court, stating that his answer-scripts had been wrongly assessed. The division bench had upheld the council’s stand, saying that the court should not interfere with the norms of the body conducting the examination.

As complaints of wrong assessment are once again piling up in court, the council conducting the Higher Secondary (HS) examinations on Friday filed a writ petition in Calcutta High Court requesting an exemption from producing answer-scripts before the court in future.

In 2002, too, many HS examinees had moved court claiming wrong assessment, greatly embarrassing the council. Given the precedent set in the case of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, the HS council, too, is hoping to get a similar verdict from the court.

Ranajit Chatterjee, lawyer for the council, told the court that the norms laid down by the council did not allow production of answer-scripts before the court. “No candidate should be allowed to see his or her answer-scripts after the publication of results,” he pointed out, quoting the examination rules of the council.

The petition will come up for hearing before the division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Mathur and Justice A. Banerjee next week.

Chatterjee, however, informed the court that students could apply for a post-publication scrutiny (PPS) of their answer-scripts. In 2002, according to him, the court had entertained petitions of candidates who had not even applied for PPS. The petitioner also argued that there was no hard and fast rule to show answer-scripts to students after the publication of results in similar examinations in other states.

In 2002, hundreds of candidates had applied for PPS after the publication of HS results. When they found their marks unchanged even after scrutiny, they moved court urging it to give a directive to the council to produce answer-scripts.

“The council had to take a lot of trouble to carry out the order though only in two or three cases the marks increased,” Chatterjee said.

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