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The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh
The Delhi High Court has held that the Assessment Scheme approved by the Supreme Court for CBSE students would be applicable to those who appear in improvement examination as well. (Sanyam Gupta vs CBSE)
As per the above Scheme, the students were to be awarded marks for the cancelled examinations and promoted based on the average performance in the examinations where they appeared.
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh.
The Petitioner before the Court was a student who had appeared in CBSE Class 12th examination held in February-March, 2019 and secured 95.25%.
Thereafter, he dropped one year as he was desirous of obtaining admission in a premier college in the University of Delhi and decided to re-appear in Accountancy, English Core, Economics and Business Studies for an improvement examination.
Out of these, the examination for Business Studies, which was scheduled for March 24, was cancelled due to the lock down announced on account of COVID-19.
The Petitioner inter alia prayed that he be considered at par with the regular students for whom an assessment scheme in respect of cancelled papers was approved by the Supreme Court vide its orders dated June 25 and 26.
It was thus submitted that the marks for the cancelled paper may be calculated by taking the average score of the best two improvement examinations.
In response, CBSE submitted that it had taken a separate decision in respect of students who had appeared for the improvement examination and that the assessment scheme which was placed before the Supreme Court was only in respect of Regular students.
CBSE contended that improvement students could not be treated to be at par with regular students as they had already had the opportunity to appear once in the examinations.
It was stated that if an order is passed directing en bloc that for cancelled improvement examinations, the average of the best of the two improvement examinations’ score would be awarded, it might put the other students at a severe disadvantage.
CBSE clarified that the candidates whose improvement examinations were cancelled would have the option of either dropping the improvement examination and retaining their old score or taking the improvement examination at a later stage, whenever it is conducted.
After hearing the parties as well as the Amicus Curiae in the matter, the Court observed that the distinction between regular and improvement students had not been raised by the CBSE before the Supreme Court when the CBSE’s scheme was approved and therefore, the orders of the Supreme Court did not make any reference to the improvement students.
Before proceeding to decide the issue, the Court highlighted the settled position qua Improvement examinations.
It recorded that CBSE’s Bye-Laws and judgments passed by the Court indicated that the students were entitled to rely upon the higher of the two marks, i.e marks obtained in regular examination or improvement, and neither marks were forfeited by the students.
“There is logic in this approach. The very purpose of Improvement examination as per Cl. 44(i) of the Bye-law is to give an opportunity to the student to improve the score. Improvement examinations are not meant to punish a student for taking the said exam. It is meant to encourage a student who wishes to aspire for better academic growth or career prospects to study better and give another shot at the examination to improve his marks.”, the Court said.
Considering the above and the improvement examination scores of the Petitioner in other subjects, the Court ultimately opined that there was no reason as to why the Petitioner should be treated differently from the regular candidates.
Remarking that the pandemic had put 4,500 students who had given the improvement examination this year at a considerable disadvantage, the Court held,
The Court accordingly directed that mark sheet be issued by CBSE to the Petitioner as per the approved Scheme.
The Petitioner was represented by Advocates Rishi Manchanda, Arun Kumar.
Senior Advocate Maninder Acharya appeared as Amicus Curie.
Advocates Amit Bansal, Seema Dolo represented CBSE.
Read the Judgement: