January 31, 2021 3:08:43 am
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside the Panjab University’s Controller of Examination decision, dated September 16, 2020, by which the students’ request for re-evaluation was rejected.
A Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal has ruled that rechecking and re-evaluation will apply to the answer books submitted during the online examination. “The university is directed to revaluate the answer books as already requested by the writ petitioners,” asserted Justice Kshetarpal.
Anshul Garg and other petitioners, through their counsel Anurag Jain, had contended that on September 16, 2020, in continuation of the guidelines issued on September 15, 2020, the Controller of Examination declared that there would be no provision for re-checking or re-evaluation of the answer books of the online examination. On September 30, the online examinations were concluded. On October 10, the result of the examination was declared, following which the petitioners had made a request for re-evaluation, which was rejected and the petitioners did get an opportunity to have a look at the copy of the answer sheets under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
It was argued by advocate Jain that the Controller of Examination has no jurisdiction to amend the regulations framed by the Senate and, therefore, the decision is liable to be set aside, and even the executive power of the Vice-Chancellor under regulation 14 of the Panjab University Calendar Volume II does not enable him to amend the regulations framed by the Senate.
Appearing before Justice Kshetarpal’s Bench, the varsity counsel had contended that a conscious decision had been taken by a coordination committee constituted by the Syndicate to exclude the provision for re-evaluation of the answer books, while approving the procedure to be followed for online examination.
After carefully perusing the minutes of the coordination committee meeting held on September 2 last year, Justice Kshetarpal observed it was apparent that decision to omit or delete the provision for re-checking and re-evaluation was not taken. The proposal prepared by the Controller of Examination to conduct final semester online examination was approved.
Justice Kshetarpal added that an examination could be conducted in various manners, such as physically attempting the paper, or by oral, practical or online process. Referring to the dictionary meaning of ‘examination’, Justice Kshetarpal remarked it would take within its sweep all modes of conducting examination. “Hence, the stand of the university that the regulation providing for re-checking and re-evaluation does not apply to online examination cannot be countenanced”. Justice Kshetarpal noted the only addition to the procedure was that the question paper was required to be attempted by a candidate from a remote location and scanned answer books were to be sent through an email.
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