Students upbeat over high court ruling on answer sheets

February 6th, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 6 (IANS) Students in West Bengal now have the right to see their exam answer sheets if they are not satisfied with the marks received, thanks to a ruling by the Calcutta High Court. While the students are understandably happy, educational authorities wonder how to handle the deluge of applications they expect.”It’s a very good directive that the Calcutta High Court has issued. It’ll definitely help students who get unsatisfactory marks in the (school) board exams to see their answer sheets once again,” Shayandeep Roy Chowdhury, a Class 11 student of Belgharia High School here, said Friday.

“This happened to me too in the secondary (Class 10) examination when I thought I would get good marks in some papers. But when the result came out I saw it was exactly the opposite. I didn’t get good marks in papers where I thought I had done well,” he added.

Said Kaushiki Ghosh, a student from neighbouring Howrah district: “The judgement will help students seek re-evaluation of their answer sheets and get it clarified from the board or university if they have any confusion about their marks.”

The judgement came Thursday as the Calcutta High Court upheld the rights of examination candidates to have access to their answer papers.

The two-member division bench of Chief Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice Dipankar Datta upheld a single bench order and directed all concerned to act on all such pending applications and show answer sheets to aggrieved students within a month. The bench, however, set a six-month time limit for students to see their answer papers.

In the earlier order, Justice Sanjib Banerjee had said a student had the right to see his answer sheet under Article 19 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression.

Thursday’s judgement came on an appeal by Calcutta University against the earlier order that had asked the university to let a student of Presidency College see his maths answer sheet as he had sought re-evaluation.

While the students were elated by the judgement, university authorities are wondering how they will handle the large number of candidates who are likely to apply for re-evaluation of their answer sheets.

“If a large number of examinees seek to go through their answer papers, the entire system will buckle down. Every year 300,000 odd candidates appear for the Calcutta University exams, of which around nine percent apply for review. Now, after this order, the number will go up by leaps and bounds. I don’t think we now have the infrastructure to handle this,” a university official said on condition of anonymity.

Mamata Roy, president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), said the board would go by the court order.

“We’ve so far not received any certified copy of the high court judgement. We’ll first have a look at the copy of the order and decide what steps we’ll take in this regard. But definitely we’ll go by what the high court has said,” Roy told IANS.

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