President Board of Secondary Education, Orissa & Anr Vs. D. Suvankar & Anr
 Insc 799 (14
Pasayat & Lokeshwar Singh Panta
Out of S.L.P. (C) No.17990 of 2005) ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
in this appeal is to the judgment rendered by a Division Bench of the Orissa
High Court. While holding that there was no provision under any rule or
regulations of the Appellant-Board for revaluation, a sum of Rs.20,000/- was
awarded for wrong intimation about the total marks actually received by the
facts in a nutshell are as follows:
No.1 appeared at the High School Certificate Examination2004 conducted by the
appellant-board. Result of the said examination was published on 25.6.2004.
Initially, respondent no.1 was declared to have passed in the 1st Division
securing 654 marks out of 750 marks. Respondent no.1 made a representation
pointing out that the marks appear to have been wrongly mentioned in the marks
scripts were verified, and it was found that the marks awarded in one paper
i.e. SSH were wrongly shown as 35 though respondent no.1 had really secured 65
marks. It was pointed out that the mistake occurred due to the wrong entry made
in the computer. The error was rectified in the Tabulation Register and fresh
marks sheet was issued on 7.7.2004. The revised marks sheet was sent to the
Zonal Officer, at Balasore for onward transmission to the Headmaster, N.S. Police High School where the petitioner had prosecuted
studies. In September, 2004 respondent no.1 filed writ petition. It is to be
noted that Board had constituted a Committee pursuant to the direction given in
Bismaya Mohanty's case (supra). The cut off mark was fixed at 682.
that time the respondent no.1's marks were taken to be 654, his papers were not
examined by the Committee. As the candidate had deposited requisite fees for
checking of addition of marks, the exercise was undertaken and it was noted
that in the SSH paper he had secured 71 and not 65 as was posted in the cover
page. In other words, the actual marks secured by the candidate were 690 and
not 654 as was originally recorded.
High Court dismissed the writ petition holding that there is no scope for
revaluation but directed payment of Rs.20,000/- for the negligence of the
Board. Main prayer in the writ petition was to direct the appellant-Board to
revalue answer sheet as was done in the case of candidates who had secured more
than 682 marks. Earlier the High Court in the case of Bismaya Mohanty &
Ors. v. Board of Secondary Education, Orissa represented by its Secretary and
Ors. (1996 (1) OLR 134) had directed that the answer sheet of the students who
had secured more than particular number of marks were to be re-examined by the
Committee of three examiners to avoid the possibility of injustice on account
of marginal variation in marks, considering power given to Chief Examiners in
certain specified cases.
Board is in appeal against the cost imposed. As observed by this Court in Maharashtra
State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and another v. Paritosh
Bhupesh Kurmarsheth. etc. (AIR 1984 SC 1543), it is in the public interest that
the results Public examinations when published should have some finality
attached to them. If inspection, verification in the presence of the candidates
and revaluation are to be allowed as of right, it may lead to gross and
indefinite uncertainty, particularly in regard to the relative ranking etc. of
the candidates, besides leading to utter confusion on account of the enormity
of the labour and time involved in the process. The Court should be extremely
reluctant to substitute its own views as to what is wise, prudent and proper in
relation to academic matters in preference to those formulated by professional
men possessing technical expertise and rich experience of actual day-to-day
working of educational institutions and the departments controlling them. It
would be wholly wrong for the Court to make a pedantic and purely idealistic approach
to the problems of this nature, isolated from the actual realities end grass
root problems involved in the working of the system and unmindful of the
consequences which would emanate if a purely idealistic view as opposed to
pragmatic one were to be propounded. In the above premises, it is to be
considered how far the Board has assured a zero defect system of evaluation, or
a system which is almost fool-proof.
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
learned counsel for the Board has stated that due proper care is taken in the
matter of selection of Examiners.
followed by the Board was stated to be as follows:
of teachers teaching different subjects are obtained from the schools in a
prescribed form named Teachers Index Form. The data supplied by the schools in
the Teachers Index Form are entered in the Computer. Circle- wise/subject-wise
seniority list of Chief Examiners/ Assistant Examiners/Scrutinisers is
prepared. After the Unit Chart of the valuation centre is finalised, allotment
of Chief Examiner/Asst. Examiner/Scrutiniser made by the Computer basing on the
guidelines framed by the Examination Committee, keeping in view the distance of
schools from valuation centre. After selection of Examiners, the Computer print
of the subject-wise and Unit-wise list of Chief Examiners/Asst. Examiners and Scrutinisers
is finalised, and thereafter the appointment orders are issued. Criteria fixed
are stated to be as follows:
Minimum teaching experience for Chief Examiners and Asst. Examiners is
Chief Examiners are appointed on rotation and Asst. Examiners on seniority
In case of shortage, the experience restriction can be relaxed.
are appointed from among the subject- teachers with particular years of
to be ensured that the Examiners who make the valuation of answer papers are
really equipped for the job. The paramount consideration in such cases is the
ability of the Examiner. The Board has bounden duty to select such persons as
Examiners who have the capacity, capability to make valuation and they should
really equipped for the job.
the very purpose of evaluation of answer papers would be frustrated. Nothing
should be left to show even an apprehension about lack of fair assessment. It
is true that valuation of two persons cannot be equal on golden scales, but
wide variation would affect credibility of the system of valuation. If for the
same answer one candidate gets higher marks than another that would be
arbitrary. As indicated above, the scope for interference in matters of
valuation of answer papers is very limited. For compelling reasons and apparent
infirmity in valuation, the Court step in. Care should be taken to see that the
Examiners who have been appointed for a particular subject belong to the same
faculty. It would be a mockery of the system of valuation of a teacher
belonging to Arts stream is asked to evaluate answer papers of Science stream.
It may be that a teacher had Physics. Chemistry or Biology at the Intermediate
Level, but at Graduation stage he had special paper in Zoology. To ask such a
teacher to evaluate Botany paper would not be proper. Similarly in the case of
a teacher having Mathematics in Intermediate Level while he took his high
studies in Physics, or Chemistry, or Botany at the Graduation Level, evaluation
of answer paper in Mathematics by him would not be proper. May be that he has
working knowledge in the subject. But the valuation should be done by an
Examiner who is well equipped in the subject.
would rule out the chance of variation improper valuation. Board authorities
should ensure that anomalous situations as pointed out above do not occur.
Additional steps should be taken for assessing the capacity of a teacher before
he is appointed as an Examiner. For this purpose, the Board may constitute a
Body of Experts to interview the persons who intend to be appointed as
Examiners. This process is certainly time-consuming but it would further the
ends for which the examinations are held. The Chief Examiner is supposed to act
as a safety-valve in the matter of proper assessment.
thing which cannot be lost sight of is the marginal difference of marks which
decide the placement of candidates in the merit list.
High Court in another case has directed that answer scripts of all the
candidates who had secured more than 90% of marks should be re-checked. The
said decision of the High Court was assailed before this Court in Board of
Secondary Education v. Pravas Ranjan Panda and Anr. Civil Appeal Nos.5413-5414
of 2004. This Court by order dated 13.8.2004 held that since there is no
provision for re-valuation, the High Court's direction was not sustainable.
instant case the High Court was of the view that the earlier view in Bismaya Mohanty's
case (supra) was not approved by this Court in said Civil Appeals.
to the learned counsel for the appellant-Board the High Court was justified in
dismissing the writ petition rejecting the prayer of the respondent no.1 for
held that the writ petition was to be dismissed the imposition of cost for
initial mistake which was later rectified is clearly impermissible.
order dated 5.9.2005 by issuing notice it was directed that the Computer Firm
and the Assistant Examiner and the Scrutinizer who were responsible for wrong
entry of the marks were to be noticed. Stand of the computer firm was that
since entries were made for several lakhs of students, mistake of this nature
should not be given importance.
not in dispute that the Board's regulations do not provide for any revaluation.
What is provided is for the addition of the marks. The Board had set up a
Committee pursuant to the direction given in Bismaya Mohanty's case (supra).
Initially, candidate's case was not covered. But on account of corrections his
case was to be considered. His total marks were 690, whereas the cut off marks
fixed by the Board were 682.
appellant-Board is certainly not blemishless.
lesser marks were shown in the marks sheet supplied to the respondent no.1. In
the first marks sheet the total marks indicated were 654. Finally, marks sheet
was issued showing the aggregate marks to be 690. Except putting the blame on
the Computer Firm, Assistant Examiner and the Scrutinizer, nothing further has
been offered by the appellant-Board as explanation. True it is the first
mistake was of the computer firm but the second correction is clearly on the
basis of the prayer for re-addition of marks. It was found that the marks
actually secured were 71 while on the cover page of the answer sheet the marks
noted as 65. For this the blame has to be fixed on the Assistant Examiner and
the Scrutinizer. But that does not provide an escape route to the Board.
it is the Board which has to ensure that the correct marks sheet is issued to
the candidates since candidates who appear at the High School Certificate are
of tender age. If by mistake the Board indicates to the candidates' incorrect
marks, it is bound to have adverse effect on the mind of the candidates of
tender age. Therefore, it is imperative on the part of the Board to ensure that
errorless marks sheet is issued to each candidate. The plea of the computer
firm that considering the large number of candidates the mistake is not serious
has no substance. The computer entries are made to ensure accuracy and to do
away with defects which arise from manually recording of marks and to ensure
accuracy. The Assistant Examiner and the Scrutinizer appear to have taken their
jobs casually unmindful of the consequences which result from their negligence
acts. Therefore, the sum of Rs.20,000/- has to be paid to the respondent no.1
by the Board out of which it shall recover Rs.15,000/- from computer firm. It
appears that the Board has taken action against the Assistant Examiner and
Scrutinizer for their negligence. While affirming action taken against them, we
express our displeasure for their careless and negligent acts which has led to
High Court has erroneously held that this Court did not approve the directions
given in Bismaya Mohanty's case (supra). It is to be noted that in Civil Appeal
Nos.5413-5414 of 2004, the correctness of the decision in Bismaya Mohanty's
case (supra) was not under consideration. The High Court in the impugned
judgment in the said case had departed from the directions given in the Bismaya
Mohanty's case (supra) and in that background this Court set aside the order of
the High Court. No opinion was expressed about the correctness of the decision
in Bismaya Mohanty's case (supra).
the Board itself on the basis of said decision had constituted the Committee in
the year under consideration.
on the basis of marks secured by him (i.e. 690) respondent no.1's case ought to
have been considered by the Committee, we feel no useful purpose shall be
served by giving direction to do so at the present juncture.
appeal is accordingly disposed of. No costs.