Chief Information Commissioner (CIC),Punjab,R I Singh has held that the answersheet of a student cannot be considered ‘confidential information’ after the declaration of results,and a student is entitled to a certified copy of his answersheet.
The order was passed by the CIC following a complaint by Kamal Kishore Arora,father of Gaurav,against Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU),Amritsar. Interestingly,by filing an RTI application to the varsity to see the answersheet,Arora was able to bypass the fee of Rs 10,000 charged by GNDU to show the answersheet to a student.
In the order,the CIC held that Arora was not liable to pay this fee as he had sought the information under the RTI Act. He had sought certified copies of the answersheets of Gaurav in an exam conducted during the second semester of MA (English) in May 2011. GNDU informed Arora that as per varsity rules,the examinee could see his answersheets within three weeks of declaration of results by depositing a fee of Rs 10,000.
The CIC said as per the RTI Act,no time limit had been prescribed and no fee was to be charged,and the provisions of the RTI Act overrode any other rules and regulations,or a statute.
GNDU also took the plea that it could not give Gaurav’s answersheets to his father,as it was “personal information of a third party”. GNDU admitted that even though “the third party” is the son of the information seeker,the varsity was not bound to give the answersheet to him.