Case Law Details

Case Name : Mohit Goyal Vs. ICAI & Ors. (Delhi High Court)
Appeal Number : LPA No.499/2015
Date of Judgement/Order : 23.05.2016
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (1347) Delhi High Court (463)

The writ petition was filed by the appellant who is a student of respondent No.1 – Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He gave the Final Examination of the respondents in November, 2013. He did not He thereafter applied for Suggestive Answers, Re-evaluation of the marks and Certified copy of his answer sheet.

It is the contention of the appellant that when he got the copy of the answer sheet, he found that the examiner had not properly checked the papers. It is also his contention that despite the appellant having written correct answers to the questions which also tally with the suggestive answer sheet, the appellant was awarded less marks for the various answers. It is the further contention of the appellant that some of the papers were checked in a completely incorrect manner and some of them were checked in a partially incorrect manner.

The stress in the petition is that the appellant gave right answers which tally with the suggestive answers and yet the appellant had not qualified. Reliance was also placed on Regulation 39(7) of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988 which gives powers to the respondents to take necessary steps if the result of an examination has been affected by error, malpractice, fraud, improper conduct etc. The appellant hence prayed for a direction to the respondents to constitute a Board for rechecking the papers of the appellant submitted during the Final Examination in November, 2013.

The learned Single Judge by the impugned order dismissed the writ petition relying upon the judgments of the Supreme Court in the case of Himachal Pradesh Service Commission v. Mukesh Thakur, (2010) 6 SCC 759 and Pramod Kumar Srivastava v. Chairman, Bihar Public Service Commission, Patna & Ors., AIR 2004 SC 4116 holding that in the absence of any provisions for re-evaluation, no re-evaluation of the answer books can be carried out and directions to that effect cannot be issued by the court.

The main contention of the learned counsel for the appellant is that the answers given by him in the answer sheets tally with the suggestive answers and hence there is a patent error in the evaluation of his answer The response of the respondents is stated in a letter dated 16.05.20 14 written in reply to a representation of the appellant dated 18.04.2014. Relevant portion of the same reads as follows:

“It is hereby informed to you that suggested answers are not the basis of evaluation of the answer books as is clearly specified on the reverse of title page of the suggested answers published by the Institute. Please also note that the evaluation of answer books of the candidates is based on their performance in the examination. You would appreciate that the result of the candidates are purely driven by their performance in the examination which are evaluated strictly in accordance with the systems in place under the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988.”

The document/responses of the respondents make it clear that the suggestive answers which have been so heavily relied upon by the appellant to buttress his case was nothing but a document prepared by the respondents to help and assist the candidates for the purpose of preparation of the examination. These are not the basis for evaluation of the candidates who appeared in the examination. Reliance of the appellant on these suggestive answers to contend that there is an error in the marking of the answer sheets is an erroneous contention.

Even otherwise, we agree with the learned Single Judge that normally it is not for this court to enter into the issue of re-evaluation of the answer books. There are a catena of decisions in this regard holding that in the absence of appropriate provision for re-evaluation of the answer sheets, no such direction can be issued by the court.

The last contention of the appellant was his reliance on Regulation 39(7) of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988. It was contended that the respondents have powers under the said regulations to carry out re­- evaluation of the appellant’s paper books in the circumstances stated hereinabove. The said Regulation 39(7) of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988 reads as follows:

39(7) In any case where it is found that the result of an examination has been affected by error, malpractice, fraud, improper conduct or other matter, of whatever nature, the Council shall have the power to amend such result, in such manner as shall be in accordance with the true position and to make such declaration as the Council shall consider necessary in that behalf.

Provided that no such amendment shall be made which adversely affects a candidate, without giving him an opportunity of being heard.

Provided further that in the event of an error not arising out of any act or default of a candidate, proceedings for amendment adversely affecting the candidate shall not be initiated after the expiry of a period of one month from the date of the declaration of result.”

A perusal of the said regulation shows that where the result of an examination is affected by an error, malpractice, fraud, improper conduct , the respondents have the power to amend such result. It does not deal with re-evaluation of paper books on an individual request of a candidate. Even otherwise there is no error in the facts of this case.

The present appeal is without any merits.

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