Show answer sheets under RTI, says SC

But don't reveal examiners' names

Show answer sheets under RTI, says SC
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that  candidates appearing for any recruitment exam may seek scanned copies of their answer sheets and tabulation of interview marks under Right to Information Act (RTI), but not the examiners’ names as it is not in public interest.

A bench of Justices M Y Eqbal and Arun Mishra said disclosing the names of examiners would lead to dire consequences and may cause confusion and public unrest. Besides, it may create a situation where the unsuccessful candidates would like to contact the evaluators for any potential gain in future examinations, the court said.

“If we allow disclosure of names of the examiners in every exam, the unsuccessful candidates may try to take revenge on the examiners for doing their job well,” the bench said.

The apex court modified a Kerala High Court judgment directing disclosure of the names of the examiners to the candidates of the Public Service Commission examinations under the RTI Act, along with the scanned copies of the answer sheets and tabulation of interview marks.

It agreed with the view of the HC that the request of the information seeker to see his answer sheets and know details of the interview marks can be and should be entertained.

“This practice will ensure fair play in this competitive environment, where a candidate invests time in preparing for the exams; but the request of the information seeker for details of the person who examined/checked the paper cannot and shall not be provided as the relationship between the public authority i.e. Service Commission and the examiners is totally within fiduciary relationship,” the bench said.

The panel has reposed trust in the examiners that they will check papers with utmost care, honesty and impartiality, and, similarly, the examiners have faith that they will not face any unfortunate consequences for doing their job, the court said.
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