The Supreme Court has directed CBSE to carefully follow its 2011 judgement that states as per the Right to Information Act, a student is entitled to access his or her answer sheet as it is their fundamental right.
A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi passed the order after addressing the plea of two students, namely, Kumar Shanu from Noida and Paras Jain from Delhi. The students asked the court’s permission to start contempt proceedings against the Board as they were charging Rs.700 fee per answer sheet.
Apart from this, the students must also, without any exception, go through the process of verification of marks in order to be aware of all the regulations. As part of the verification process, they are required to pay an additional fee of Rs. 300. The students will only be eligible to access their answer sheets if they have submitted this amount.
The students opposed the fact that a student will have to pay Rs. 1,000 to the CBSE in order to get a copy of their answer sheet. This data was received as a response filed by the CBSE to an RTI application submitted by the petitioners.
The CBSE challenged the charges and said that the fee was not for the profit of the board.
The petitioners also said that the huge sum of fees applied for the procedure was in disrespect of a 2011 judgment. As per the judgment, CBSE & Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandhopadhyay & Ors, of the Supreme Court, held that answer sheets are also a form of information under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act. Considering this the students have a fundamental and legal right to get their answer sheets under RTI Act.
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The petitioners also contended that accessing their answer sheets must only cost them Rs. 2 per page and Rs. 10 for the RTI application. Students below the poverty line were also assured that they will get free access to their answer sheets as per the law.