In Writ Petition No. 253/97, decided on 27-11-1997 in the matter of All Goa Independent Students Union, Mapusa – Petitioner Vs. University of Goa through its Registrar – Respondents, The Hon. Bombay High Court at Goa vide para 13 with respect to mistakes in awarding marks etc. have held as under :

Para 13.   The lapses, on the part of the University were indeed very serious. The University need not be told  that career of students depends upon examination results and such lapses on the part of the University, deliberately or negligently and such acts by omission or commission breeds frustration in students in this competitive world. For every mark there is tremendous race and struggle and a student’s career can be made or marred by such mistake. The University should be alive to this situation and must not by its action or inaction, knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally cause any harm which may have serious effect and repercussion on student’s career. Before serious damage could be done, the University realised its mistake and has strived to remedy the grievance of the affected students.

The Hon. Supreme Court of India in The President Board Of Secondary … Vs  D. Suvankar & Anr on 14 November, 2006 vide Appeal (civil) 4926 of 2006 with respect to non existence of system of revaluation of answer sheet and duty of examiner under such situation observed as under :

Award of marks by an Examiner is to be fair, and considering the fact that revaluation is not permissible under the Statute, the Examiner has to be careful, cautious and has a duty to ensure that the answers are properly evaluated. No element of chance or luck should be introduced. An examination is a stepping-stone on career advancement of a student. Absence of a provision for revaluation cannot be a shield for the Examiner to arbitrarily evaluate the answer script. That would be against the very concept for which revaluation is impermissible.

The Hon. Orissa High Court in the case of Manas Ranjan Dash And Ors. vs Council Of Higher Secondary … on 30 September, 1996 [Equivalent citations: 1996 II OLR 592] vide para 11 to 16 with respect to glaring error and also after revaluation ordered though revaluation was not in place and made glaring observation to lift veil :

 11. Learned counsel for the Council with reference to para– graph-21 of the counter-affidavit in OJC No. 5893 of 1996, and the reports of the Chief Examiners has submitted that the original valuation was not erratic. We find no substance in this plea. Considering the high percentage of cases where variations have occurred, the reports of the Chief Examiners do not stand-to reason. In any event, they have not given a clean chit to the original examiners. In a good number of cases, the Chief Examiners have stated in response to the query of the Council as to whether the valuation was satisfactory/erratic as satisfactory except in the reported cases. The number of cases involving variation due to revaluation is indicative of lack of care and caution. The large number of cases where changes occurred, due to re-addition is equally alarming. If examiners have not been careful enough to even correctly add up the marks it is nothing but sheer carelessness and negligence. The large number of such cases cannot be attributed to unintended mistake.

12. In paragraph-6 of the counter-affidavit filed in OJC No. 5893 of 1996, the Secretary of the Council has indicated that cut of 3, 629 answer scripts verified there was no change in respect of 2, 692 answer scripts. There was re-additional changes in respect of 406 answer scripts, and changes due to other reasons were found in  respect of 548 answer scripts.

In paragraph-10 it has been stated that change in mark is not only due to some mistake in valuation but is due to re-addition. It is accepted that in as many as 548 cases out of 3, 629 cases, there was variation on account of revaluation. This certainly does not speak of high of the manner of valuation by the Council.

13. Allegations were made by the learned counsel for petitioners that the interim direction given by this Court on 26-7-1996 to make a fresh evaluation of the answer scripts of the candidates who had applied for re-addition by the Chief Examiners to be appointed by the Council has not been duly complied with. To verify the statement made at the Bar, we had called for certain answer scripts of different subjects at random, and on verification found the statement to be baseless.

14. Now the primal question is the protection that can be given on the basis of report given by the Council with reference to re-valuation made by Chief Examiners. After careful consideration of the problem, we are of the considered opinion that the following procedures be adopted by the Council in all cases where there has been increase of marks:

(i) The corrected mark-sheets on the basis of re-addition/ revaluation be issued to the concerned candidates within six weeks from today.

(ii) So far as the cases where reducation has been noticed up to 5 marks, it would not be equitable to direct reduction of marks, and original marks as indicated shall be maintained.

(iii) So far as the cases where the reduction is more than 5, the answer scripts be sent to a Committee of two Chief Examiners who shall evaluate the answer scripts, and the marks awarded lay them shall be final. In case there is any variation of marks awarded by them, higher marks given by the two Chief Examiners shall be maintained. This contingency shall arise only in cases where there is difference of marks-, and the Chief Examiners shall examine the answer script separately. This exercise shall be undertaken within six weeks, and the corrected mark-sheet if any shall be sent to the concerned candidate.

(iv) The provision made by the Council for extending credit to a candidate, who falls short by prescribed number of marks to get the next higher division be applied to eligible candidates on the basis of revised marks.

15. Before we part with the cases, we are constrained to observe that the conduct of examination by the Council leaves much to be desired. In the absence of any provision, revaluation cannot normally be directed to be done. But, it would be arbitrary to leave the students without a remedy, even though there is apparent and tell-tale improper evaluation. Merely because law does not permit demand of revaluation by candidates, it does not provide invincibility to the Council.  Courts are not helpless in such matters and on being satisfied that injustice is being done, a time may come when Courts would be compelled to lift the veil of protection and direct the authorities in charge of examinations for revaluation. Instances are there when Courts, on being satisfied about the apparent fallacy in award of marks, have directed revaluation. The slowness to interfere in evaluation of paper matters does not stem from lack of jurisdiction, but flows from a respect for the system, where some amount of finality has to be attached to wisdom, experience and moral of the Examiners selected by the Council. If the system begins to rot and corrode on account of apathy and indifference, time may demand striking at the root of it and wholesome alternative approach. Time alone will say when the time for such action arrives, petitions assailing the award of marks have been filed by examinees and where they demanded the revaluation of certain papers but as there were no statutory provisions mentioning revaluation so also no material was produced by the examinees to show that the Examination Committee did not consider all relevant aspects and the Examination Committee being the final authority matter could not be interfered with in some cases earlier. That has no relevance in these cases.

16. A time has come for taking a fresh look at the functioning of the Council. Three years back this Court had the occasion to observe about inefficient functioning of the Council in the case of Ranjan Kumar Rout v. Council of Higher Secondary Education, Orissa and Anr : (OJC No. 2420 of 1893 disposed of on 6-10 -1993). That does not appear to have brought any effect. Sooner the Council realises that things should not be allowed to deteriorate is better for it and the society.

The writ applications are disposed of accordingly.

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Complied by – R.B.POPAT, B.Com.F.C.S,F.C.A.

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