May 28, 2012, 12:00 am
The Delhi High Court has ruled that students under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) cannot obtain their marks under the Right to Information (RTI) Act as this would defeat the objective of replacing marks with grades introduced in 2010.
The high court’s ruling came while hearing a plea filed by the CBSE against the order of a single-judge bench which had upheld an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) allowing disclosure of Class 10 marks.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R.S. Endlaw in their judgement said, "We are unable to agree; we feel that the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of ’marks’ in the regime of ’grades’ have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof."
Anil Kumar Kathpal wanted the marks of his daughter to be disclosed. He desires to know the marks obtained by his daughter in the Class 10 examination held in 2010, saying that the information would help him to identify the weak areas in her studies.
"In our opinion, no information which is forbidden by law or information of a nature, if disclosed, would defeat the provisions of any law or disclosure whereof is opposed to public policy, cannot be regarded as ’lawful’ and is to be ignored and no disclosure thereof can be made or directed to be made," the court said.
Court said, "The objective, in replacing the marks with grades, as can be gathered from the documents on record, was to grade students in a bandwidth rather than numerically; it was felt that difference, between a student having 81 percent and a student having 89 percent, could be owing to subjectivity in marking."
"There was no reason to otherwise consider a bearer of 81 percentile to be inferior to a bearer of 89 percentile and there was no reason to treat them differently," the bench said.
The court, allowing the CBSE appeal against the disclosure of marks, said: "We hold that disclosure of marks, which though exists with the appellant, would amount to allowing play to the policy earlier prevalent of marking the examinees."
"We are therefore unable to agree with the reasoning of the CIC and of the learned Single Judge and allow this appeal. We hold the information, disclosure of which was sought, to be no information and also exempt from disclosure," the court held.