Answer sheet showed that two answers were left unchecked - PIO: No provision for revaluation in University - CIC: Universities to protect the interest of aspirants; Explore the viability of introducing revaluation facility; Place copy of order before VC
Appellant: Photocopy of his answer sheet of MSc were provided after delay which showed that two of his attempted answers were left unchecked by the invigilator; Revaluation was denied - PIO: There is no provision for revaluation in the Byelaws/ rules of the University, and that only re-totaling provision is there - CIC empathized with the concern of the Appellant and advised him to pursue the matter through the administrative mechanism for redressal of his grievance - CIC noted the absence of a provision for revaluation of answer scripts in the rules/ regulations of the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Gharwal University - CIC: It is the dire need of the educational Institutions/Universities to protect the interest of intended aspirants; It will be in the best interest of HNBGU to explore the viability of introducing provisions of revaluation facility in the rules/regulations - CIC: PIO to place a copy of the order to the Vice Chancellor, HNBGU to look into the issue in the larger public interest
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 20.05.2019 seeking photocopy of his answer sheet of MSC. Forestry, Batch (2014-16)-Third Semester Examination, (Roll No. 90662471). The CPIO forwarded his RTI application on 27.05.2019 for seeking assistance under section 5(4) of the RTI Act, 2005 to the concerned Public Authority. Being dissatisfied, the appellant filed a First Appeal dated 05.07.2019. FAA’s order dated 27.08.2019 directed the CPIO as follows:-
Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the non-compliance of FAA’s order, appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal on the ground of non- receipt of desired information and non- redressal of his grievance regarding rectification of marks by removing the discrepancies as noted in the desired answer sheet.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:-
Appellant: Present through audio-conference.
Respondent: Dr. Arun Rawat, Controller of Exams & CPIO present through audioconference.
The Appellant although admitted the factum of receipt of averred answer scripts; however, he harped on the issue of delay so caused by the CPIO in providing the desired information and also narrated his grievance stating that upon receipt of averred answer scripts he noticed that two of his attempted answers were left unchecked by the invigilator/supervisor for which he had filed a representation with the Controller of exams but the concerned authority denied to re evaluate his answers scripts on the plea that those questions-answers were not to be attempted as per the directions given in the Question paper. He contended that this was factually incorrect. He further added that there was discrepancy in the answer script copy given to him dasti and the one provided to him through speed post; therefore to sought clarification on this anomaly he made a representation to the HOD, University but his grievance was left unattended despite lapse of more than two and a half years.
The CPIO relied on his written submission dated 02.07.2021 and submitted that answer script of M.Sc. 3rd Semester as sought for was given to the Appellant by speed post on 3.8.2019 and also a copy of the question paper was again provided to the Appellant by hand on 27.8.2019. Regarding delay in providing information, the CPIO tendered his unconditional regret and explained that the results of averred exam was concluded in 2017, but the Appellant’s RTI Application was received in 2019 and during the intervening period, exams of 2 yearly semesters were also conducted/ concluded resulting into accumulation of more than 2 lakhs answer scripts and it was time consuming to trace the Appellant’s answer script from the record store room and hence the delay.
He furthermore submitted that there was no provision of revaluation in the guidelines/ rules of the University, however the request of the Appellant was acted on and the matter was referred to the Committee. On the recommendations of the Committee, only retotaling of marks was done and there was no change of marks. This position has been intimated to the Appellant in writing on 20.2.2020.
Upon a query from the Commission, the CPIO again affirmed and explained that there is no provision for revaluation in the Byelaws/ rules of the University, and that only retotaling provision is there as per the extant norms. Revaluation of unattended question/ answer is permissible upon the direction of the Committee on the basis of which answer script of the Appellant was forwarded to the subject expert for evaluation of particular question/answer only.
The Commission based on a perusal of the facts on record finds no scope of action in the matter with respect to the information that has been sought for in the RTI Application as well as the reply of the CPIO provided thereon in terms of the RTI Act.
Moreover, the contentions of the Appellant as well as the relief sought during hearing were in the nature of dispute resolution or seeking to redress an administrative grievance, both of which are outside the scope of the adjudication of the Commission under the RTI Act.
It will be relevant here to refer to a judgment of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the matter of Govt. of NCT of Delhi vs. Rajender Prasad (W.P.[C] 10676/2016) dated 30.11.2017 wherein it was held as under:
“6. The CIC has been constituted under Section 12 of the Act and the powers of CIC are delineated under the Act. The CIC being a statutory body has to act strictly within the confines of the Act and is neither required to nor has the jurisdiction to examine any other controversy or disputes.”
While, the Apex Court in the matter of Union of India vs Namit Sharma (Review Petition [C] No.2309 of 2012) dated 03.09.2013 observed as under:
“20. …While deciding whether a citizen should or should not get a particular information “which is held by or under the control of any public authority”, the Information Commission does not decide a dispute between two or more parties concerning their legal rights other than their right to get information in possession of a public authority….”
The Commission however empathizes with the concern of the Appellant and advise him to pursue the matter through the administrative mechanism for redressal of his grievance.
However, a pertinent issue emanating from the instant case which needs consideration is the absence of a provision for revaluation of answer scripts in the rules/ regulations of the University which is the dire need of the educational Institutions/Universities to protect the interest of intended aspirants. It will be in the best interest of HNBGU to explore the viability of introducing provisions of revaluation facility in the rules/regulations.
In pursuance of the aforesaid advisory, the CPIO is directed to place a copy of this order to the Vice Chancellor, HNBGU to look into the issue in the larger public interest.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Ankit Kumar v. Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Gharwal University in File No : CIC/HNBGU/A/2019/160876, Date of Decision : 06/07/2021