Via Deccan Herald, August 13
Any candidate can access answer sheets from the examination board under the RTI Act but only within a certain time limit, the Supreme Court has said.
In a landmark verdict, a bench of Justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik ruled that examination boards like the CBSE are bound to disclose answer sheets to students under the transparency law but added that such obligation does not will not stand beyond a time limit as decided in rules.
“The right to access information does not extend beyond the period during which the examining body is expected to retain the answer books. In the case of CBSE, the answer books are required to be maintained for a period of three months and thereafter they are liable to be disposed of/destroyed. Some other examining bodies are required to keep the answer books for a period of six months,” the bench said.
“The fact that right to information is available in regard to answer books does not mean that answer-books will have to be maintained for any longer period than required under the rules and regulations of the public authority,” the court said, dismissing appeals filed against a Calcutta HC order.
What is the Right to Information Act?
The Right to Information Act was passed in 2005. The act empowers all Indian citizens the right to ask for information from any public body which in turn has to respond within 30 days.
To read more, you can refer to http://righttoinformation.gov.in/rti-act.pdf
What this means for students:
Students can now access their answer sheets and evaluate their mistakes. This brings in more transparency and accountability to the examiners while assessing the answer sheets. We hope that this will also help in making students more confident about assessment being fair and just.