AIIMS not liable to reveal question papers under RTI: High Court

CIC had ordered the institute to provide information

The Delhi High Court on Thursday set aside a Central Information Commission’s order to AIIMS to provide an information seeker the questions and their answers for its MBBS entrance tests from 1991 to 2010.

“Having regard to an earlier judgement (on similar issue pertaining to AIIMS) of a division bench, I could not see any scope to interfere. The petition is allowed. The order of the CIC is set aside,” the court said.

The order came on an All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ plea to quash the apex transparency panel’s order to it to provide the question papers MBBS entrance tests held by it from 1991 to 2010 and their answers to information seeker Prakash Singh.

The counsel for AIIMS, during arguments, cited a verdict of a larger bench which had held that the question papers “constituted intellectual property” of AIIMS and hence, were exempted from disclosure under the Right to Information Act.Relying on the judgement, justice Shakdher refused to entertain submissions of Singh, who had sought question papers for his nephew, that AIIMS has to ensure transparency in its functioning and provide information to him.

The judge rejected  rejecting Singh’s plea that there was a distinction as the earlier verdict related to question papers of entrance tests for M CH, a super speciality course and the instant matter pertained to MBBS entrance exams.

“The division bench has taken a particular view, one is bound by the judgement. You (Singh) need to take this matter to higher courts,” he said The AIIMS took the plea that it has “limited question banks” and hence, disclosing them would compromise its high standards to allow entry of meritorious students only.

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