The Supreme Court ruled that names of examiners of answer sheets can’t be disclosed to a candidate under the Right to Information Act, saying revealing an examiner’s identity could have serious consequences for him.
“In our considered opinion, revealing (an) examiner’s identity will only lead to confusion and public unrest, a bench of Justice MY Eqbal and Justice Arun Mishra said reversing a Kerala High Court decision on this point. The bench, however, said there was nothing wrong in furnishing scanned copies of answer-sheet, tabulation sheet and other information to candidates.
“Disclosing the marks and the answer sheets to the candidates will ensure that the candidates have been given marks according to their performance in the exam. This practice will ensure a fair play in this competitive environment, where candidate puts his time in preparing for the competitive exams,” it said agreeing with the HC on the question.
Since the implementation of RTI Act in 2005, candidates have been seeking copies of their evaluated answer sheets and other related information from universities and public service commissions.
Kerala and Allahabad high courts had ruled that no fiduciary relationship existed between PSC and candidates appearing for examination and, therefore, the information sought for had to be supplied to them.
But the court clarified that the relationship between the commission and examiners was fiduciary in nature which required to be protected.
“Examiners in the position of agents are bound to evaluate the answer papers as per the instructions given by the PSC. As a result, a fiduciary relationship is established between the PSC and the Examiners. Therefore, any information shared between them is not liable to be disclosed,” the top court ruled.
Noting that the information seeker had no role to play in this, the bench said “We don’t see any logical reason as to how this will benefit him or the public at large. We would like to point out that the disclosure of the identity of Examiners is in the least interest of the general public and also any attempt to reveal the examiner’s identity will give rise to dire consequences.”
SOURCE: HINDUSTAN TIMES