Examination Copies cannot be denied on grounds of Delhi High Court Stay
The CPIO stretched High Court Stay and Supreme Court judgement to justify denial of answer sheet. There is considerable difference in the context in the case of denial of Examination Copies and that of the stay order (supra) of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court . The stay was granted on the primary objection of the petitioner (Union of India) that the answer scripts ordered to be disclosed had been already weeded out as per relevant policy.
The commission recorded that “In the circumstances, Commission fails to appreciate the contention of the CPIO, as to how the said stay order is being stretched to justify denial of answer sheet in the present case.”
Similarly, the claim that Aditya Bandhopadhyay case applies for answer scripts of qualifying exams was unsubstantiated by the commission. The said precedent does not anywhere differentiate between a qualifying exam and a promotion exam. The basic rationale of the judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the said case is reproduced as under
“…Resultantly, unless the examining bodies are able to demonstrate that the evaluated answer-books fall under any of the categories of exempted ‘information’ enumerated in clauses (a) to (j) of sub-section (1) section 8, they will be bound to provide access to the information and any applicant can either inspect the document/record, take notes, extracts or obtain certified copies thereof…”
The Appellant had stated that he is aggrieved with the reply of the CPIO and in general his failure in Promotion Exam despite having an exemplary ACR to his credit and having spent financially and mentally on the preparation of this exam.
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The commission recorded that : “the exemption of Section 8(1)(a) brought out at the hearing stage of the Appeal can only be considered for denial of information. However, the arguments of the Respondents for invoking Section 8(1)(a) is also untenable and rather it appears laboured.”