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IT IS A MATTER OF CHANCE THAT THE HIGH COURT WAS EXAMINING THE ANSWER SHEETS RELATING TO LAW. HAD IT BEEN OTHER SUBJECTS LIKE PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY AND MATHEMATICS, WE ARE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND AS TO WHETHER SUCH A COURSE COULD HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY THE HIGH COURT: ODISHA HIGH COURT

 

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Odisha through the division bench of Justice S, K Panigrahi in the case of Rabindra Panigrahi v. State of Odisha & Ors. W.P.(C) No. 33961 of 2021

FACTS

Pursuant to Advertisement dated 13.08.2021, the petitioner applied for the post of Hindi Teacher on contractual basis in Government secondary school and appeared for the designated Computer Based Test (CBT) on 04.10.2021. Though he was quite hopeful of getting qualified owing to his satisfactory performance in the CBT, to his utter disappointment, he had scored 21.75 marks out of 90, falling short of only 0.75 marks from the qualifying marks (22.5) by less than one mark. He challenged the aforesaid result and also alleged that a question was kept in the paper, which was out of the syllabus. Further, he asked for revaluation of his paper through the writ petition.

JUDGEMNTS

The Court observed that if the petitioner had grievance of the questions being out of syllabus, such a discrepancy could have been ideally raised in the stipulated time frame i.e., 06.10.2021-08.10.2021 (3 days). But the petitioner, in his rejoinder affidavit, stated that he was providing medical attention to his relatives on the said dates fixed for addressing discrepancy in relation to the question paper and therefore, was not able to make his representation.

Since the present set of facts suggest that the examination was a computer-based test, it eliminates any possibility for human intervention in both examination and evaluation phase. Due to lack of evidence suggesting possible malpractice, it is imperative that the due process involved in evaluation of answer scripts be followed without hinderance from courts. In the case of H.P Public Service Commission v. Mukesh Thakur & Anr4, the Supreme Court held that it was not permissible for the High Court to examine the question paper and answer sheets itself, particularly, when the Commission had assessed the inter-se merit of the candidates. If there was a discrepancy in framing the question or evaluation of the answer, it could be for all the candidates appearing for the examination and not for respondent no.1 only. It is a matter of chance that the High Court was examining the answer sheets relating to law. Had it been other subjects like physics, chemistry and mathematics, we are unable to understand as to whether such a course could have been adopted by the High Court. Having regard for the aforesaid reasons and precedents, the Court deemed it apposite to dismiss the writ petition rejecting the prayers listed therein.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA

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