AIBE 2019: Withholding of exam results from certain centres challenged before Andhra Pradesh High Court, BCI opposes plea
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AIBE 2019: Withholding of exam results from certain centres challenged before Andhra Pradesh High Court, BCI opposes plea

In its counter, BCI has claimed that there were sufficient grounds to withhold the results, given the malpractice that occurred at the centres.

Bar & Bench

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has opposed a plea moved before the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging its decision to withhold the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) 2019 results of candidates from certain exam centres.

In its counter, BCI has claimed that there were sufficient grounds to withhold the results, given the malpractice that occurred at the centres.

Advocate Bilaal Ahmed Syed had filed the petition in February, claiming that the move to block the results was illegal and in violation of Article 14. Syed had written the AIBE in September 2019 from an exam centre at Visakhapatnam, which was one of the nine exam centres for which results were withheld.

The BCI had published a list of these centres in February this year. The accompanying notification stated that all candidates who wrote the AIBE from these centres would be required to take the exam again.

This step was taken on account of errors and mismatch in exam codes, as a result of which the exams from these centres stood vitiated. Therefore, the candidates were required to retake the exam without paying the examination fee for a second time.

In the petition filed in February this year, Syed says that all the candidates at one centre cannot be asked to retake an exam due to a mismatch in codes. He adds that since AIBE is an open book exam, there can be no scope for malpractice.

It is pointed out by the petitioner that even the candidates from those nine exam centres whose codes did not reflect any mismatch were disqualified from the exam and were sent notices to retake the exam. It is further added by the petitioner,

“On account of withhold of the results, there is no scope for even verification of answer sheets, nor revaluation of answer sheets. Even the very marks were not revealed.”

As such, the petitioner claimed that the withholding of results of an entire exam centre done by the BCI is without any application of mind or without considering the future of the advocates who enrolled and are awaiting the results.

In its counter filed in May this year, the BCI informed the Court that it does not conduct the exams on its own, but through an agency. The entire exam procedure is monitored by a High-Powered Committee headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge, the BCI avers.

The conducting agency had flagged certain issues regarding nine specified exam centres, and based on the same, the Monitoring Committee had decided to withhold the results of candidates from the said centres.

The Committee, the BCI says, had also taken note of the recommendation made by the conducting agency to take assistance from cyber experts to examine the possibility of cheating and malpractice. After a report on the aspect of cheating was considered by the Monitoring Committee in January, it concluded that malpractice had, in fact, occurred at these exam centres.

It was based on these meetings and decisions that the final notification of withholding results was published in February, the BCI stated.

The BCI said that the averment made by the petitioner that the results were being withheld without any valid grounds are thus incorrect. The candidates were given liberty to appear in the next exam without paying any examination fee, the BCI further clarifies. As such, the petition deserves to be dismissed, the Council had said.

This plea is expected to be taken up for hearing by the High Court later this month.

The petitioner is represented by Advocate M Solomon Raju.

Read Petition:

Bilaal Ahmed Syed vs BCI (AP HC).pdf
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Read BCI's Counter:

BCI's Counter in Bilaal Ahmed Syed vs BCI case.pdf
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