The Apex while over-ruling a judgement of Kerala High Court has held that names of examiners of answer sheet cannot be disclosed under Right to Information Act, 2005.
Supreme Court was examining the issue, whether a student / candidate is entitled not only to get information with regard to the scan copies of his answer sheet, tabulation-sheet containing interview marks but is also entitled to know the names of the examiners who have evaluated the answer sheet.
Before dealing elaborately into the aspect of disclosure of name of examiner, the Court upheld that supply of scanned copies of answer-sheet of the written test, copy of the tabulation sheet and other information are rights of a candidate and should be provided by the public authority, as this will ensure a fair play in this competitive environment, where candidate puts his time in preparing for the competitive exams
However, Supreme Court did not concur with the findings of the High Court that an examining body is also bound to disclose the name of the examiner. The Supreme Court felt that disclosure of the identity of Examiners is in the least interest of the general public and also any attempt to reveal the examiner’s identity will give rise to dire consequences and will lead confusion and public unrest.
The Supreme Court, while concluding the judgement, observed as follows:
“The Commission has reposed trust on the examiners that they will check the exam papers with utmost care, honesty and impartially and, similarly, the Examiners have faith that 7 they will not be facing any unfortunate consequences for doing their job properly. If we allow disclosing name of the examiners in every exam, the unsuccessful candidates may try to take revenge from the examiners for doing their job properly. This may, further, create a situation where the potential candidates in the next similar exam, especially in the same state or in the same level will try to contact the disclosed examiners for any potential gain by illegal means in the potential exam.”
Supreme relied on principle of fiduciary relationship and held that relationship between the between the examining body and the examiner is fiduciary in nature which required to be protected and therefore any information shared between them is not liable to be disclosed.
I agree with the Judgement of Supreme Court and at the same time I also feel that the fundamental right to transparency should not aim to make everything so transparent that it endangers the fundamental right of some other person. Every fundamental right has reasonable restriction and cannot be absolute.
It is of utmost importance that name of examiner is not disclosed, so that he exercises his competency in fearless atmosphere. In any case, the fact that an answer sheet is available to a student, he can always seek correction in his answer on sound principles without knowing the name of the examiner.
Good ! Great !
Ravi Bhardwaj | firstname.lastname@example.org