“Rare & Exceptional Case”- ‘Revaluation’ Of Two Answers Of Candidate In Direct District Judge Recruitment Exam: Orissa High Court

In the case of Amitav Tripathy v. Orissa High Court, represented by the Registrar General (W.P.(C) No. 1957 of 2018), the Orissa High Court has ordered ‘re-valuation’ of two answers given by a candidate who appeared in the examination for direct recruitment in the cadre of District Judge from the Bar.

Brief Facts Of The Case: Amitav Tripathy, the petitioner in the current case, took the test held by the High Court of Orissa for direct appointment in the cadre of District Judges from the Bar for the 2016–17 academic year. The petitioner was unable to locate his name on the list when the written examination results were announced. He sought for xerox copies of his answer sheets under the RTI Act because he was not happy with the outcome. He checked his answer papers and discovered that he had gotten 53 out of 100 for Paper I and 43.5 out of 100 for Paper II. When he calculated the marks for Paper-II, he discovered that his true score was 45.5, but the total had been rounded down to 43.5. It should be emphasised that in order to be eligible for the interview, candidates had to receive at least 45 percent on each of the exam’s four papers and 50 percent overall.  The petitioner was thus not chosen for the interview.

On further perusal, he discovered that he was awarded only 0.5 marks out of 5 marks each in answers to questions 1 and 3 of the Group-D of Paper-II.  He stated that by giving precise answers for which he deserved more than what was provided, the same was in gross violation of the “scheme of valuation.” He contested it before the High Court as a result. The Examination Committee submitted an affidavit on May 4th, 2022, stating that it had discovered a mistake in the totaling of the marks after checking the marks given by the examiner in the aforementioned response script with the mark sheet attached. The overall score is 45.5 instead of the petitioner’s paper II’s 43.5 points.

Regarding the evaluation of marks on Group-D Questions 1 and 3, the Committee reviewed the responses in spite of the prohibition stated in the regulations and did not discover any improperness or irregularity in the marking process. Additionally, the Committee believed that there was no chance of the petitioner being summoned for the interview since he did not receive 47 percent of the marks in Paper-II (in order to receive 50 percent overall).

Judgement: The High Court ordered ‘re-valuation’ of two answers given by a candidate who appeared in the examination for direct recruitment in the cadre of District Judge from the Bar. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice Radha Krishna Pattanaik held that the wide power under Article 226 may continue to be available even though there is no provision for revaluation in a situation where a candidate despite having given the correct answer and about which there cannot be even slightest manner of doubt, he is treated as having given the wrong answer and consequently the candidate is found disentitled to any marks.

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