Report No. 50
14. Need for amendment in respect of University and other public examinations.-
This being the position, it is obvious that if the case of a University Examiner is to be covered, an amendment would be needed. The question, therefore, to be considered is, whether such an amendment is required on the merits. We are inclined to answer this question in the affirmative. We would add that in case of examiners at other public examinations1 also the position should be the same.
Excellence ought to be the criterion for success in public examinations;2 and mercenary or other extraneous considerations should not be allowed to operate. Further, a person who undertakes work connected with such examinations is expected to maintain the purest standard of integrity, and if he has failed to do so, the State is justified in applying the sanctions of the criminal law against him. Otherwise, those who can afford to pay and who have no scruples will have a lead over others.
It is irrelevant that the examinations are conducted by bodies which do not form part of Government hierarchy. In the duties which such bodies perform, at least in respect of public examinations, the public is as much interested as it is in the duties performed by the normal run of Government servants. Not much argument, we hope, is needed to support the point that public confidence in the purity of standards in these examinations should be maintained, and, if necessary, the criminal law ought to be invoked for the purpose.
It is obvious that public examinations affect a large number of persons, both as examinees and as examiners. Success or failure in the examination may influence the whole career of a man, not only in the initial profession which he takes up, but also, at later stages, in a profession or service which he has already entered. Complaints are often voiced about corrupt practices indulged in by examiners at such examination, and the law should be made comprehensive enough to enable action to be taken if the complaints are found to be true. The stakes are large. Welfare of a substantial section of the community is at issue. Hence, the matter ought to be provided for by appropriate provision in the general criminal law of the country.
1. See para. 17, infra, for the suggested clause.
2. For an illustrative list of relevant Central Acts, see Appendix 1.