Introduction: The case of Pragaspathy R. vs. Institute of Cost Accountants, as adjudicated by the Kolkata High Court, delves into the absence of provisions for re-evaluation of answer scripts under The Cost and Works Accountants Regulations, 1959. This article examines the petitioner’s plea for re-evaluation, the Institute’s stance, and the court’s decision.
Background: In 2018, the petitioner appeared for the Group-IV examination of Cost Accountancy, failing in three out of four papers. Seeking re-evaluation, the petitioner contested that correct answers were not adequately evaluated, referencing “suggested answers” provided by the Institute.
Legal Framework: The Institute argued that The Cost and Works Accountants Regulations, 1959, lack provisions for re-evaluation. Regulation 41 (5) allows candidates to apply for scrutiny but doesn’t permit re-evaluation. The Institute emphasized the significance of extensive knowledge and professional approach in answers, stating that mere correctness doesn’t guarantee marks.
Affidavit-in-Opposition: Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the affidavit-in-opposition underscore the Institute’s position, emphasizing the indicative nature of study materials and the absence of re-evaluation scope. The affidavit stresses the need for detailed knowledge and a professional approach in answers.
Legal Precedent: Citing legal precedent, the court established that unless it’s demonstrated that a candidate received no marks for a correct answer, the Writ Court should refrain from ordering re-evaluation. The judgment references a relevant case, reinforcing the limited scope for interference with answer script evaluation.
Conclusion: The Kolkata High Court dismissed the writ petition (WPA 1514 of 2019), asserting the absence of demonstrated grounds for interference. The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of legal provisions and the court’s cautious approach in cases lacking explicit provisions for re-evaluation.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF KOLKATA HIGH COURT
In the year 2018, the petitioner appeared in Group-IV examination of Cost Accountancy. Group-IV examination consisted of four papers and he failed in three papers. The petitioner has filed this writ petitioner for re-evaluation of his answer scripts of said three papers.
By referring to the “suggested answers” issued by the Institute, it has been submitted by the petitioner that the answer scripts have not been properly evaluated despite giving correct answers.
It has been submitted by the learned advocate appearing for the Institute that there is no provision under The Cost and Works Accountants Regulations, 1959 for re-evaluation of the answer scripts.
Attention has been drawn to Regulation 41 (5) to suggest that a candidate may apply for the scrutiny of his answer scripts but there is no scope of re-evaluation of answer scripts under the Regulation.
Learned advocate for the Institute referrs to Paragraph 8 and 9 of the affidavit-in-opposition which read as follows :-
“8. The study Materials and suggested answers that are supplied to the students are the indicative guidelines as to how the student shall study and how the answer shall be given, but it should not be construed that writing of same answers similar to that of suggested answers supplied shall help the students to score marks. The examination conducted is to test how extensive detailed studies with professional touch/approach have been made and how the students have mastered with the subject. The answer to the point indicated elaborate and detailed knowledge on the subject with specifical answer with appropriate examples is the way to score marks for which the Institute looks for in the Intermediate and Final Examination, as it grants finally the Professional Degree.
9. The students are all aware that there is no scope of re-evaluation and/or rechecking of any answer scripts of any examinations conducted by the Institute as per its regulations. The answer scripts are examined in nature of blending of correctness, to the point indicating elaborate and detailed knowledge on the subject being specific with appropriate examples having professional touch/approach. Mere vague answers which may apparently seem to be correct without proper particulars and back up reasoning cannot be considered as correct answer.”
Law is settled that in absence of any provision, the Writ Court should not normally pass any order for reevaluation of answer scripts unless its demonstrated that a candidate has not been given any marks against a correct answer. [See: (2019) 16 SCC 663 (High Court of Tripura Through The Registrar General Vs. Tirtha Sarathi Mukherjee I
The limited scope for interfering with the evaluation of the answer scripts has not been demonstrated.
Accordingly, this writ petition being WPA 1514 of 2019 is not entertained and is dismissed accordingly.
Urgent photostat certified copy of this order, if applied for, be supplied to the parties expeditiously on compliance of usual legal formalities.