Rechecking, re-evaluation will apply to online exams, says High Court : The Tribune India

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Rechecking, re-evaluation will apply to online exams, says High Court

Sets aside PU decision vide which students’ request was rejected

Rechecking, re-evaluation will apply to online exams, says High Court

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29

In a significant judgment liable to benefit Panjab University students dissatisfied with the marks awarded to them, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that rechecking and re-evaluation will apply to the answer books submitted during the online examination.

Justice Anil Kshetarpal of the High Court also set aside the Controller of Examination’s decision dated September 16, 2020, vide which the students’ request for re-evaluation was rejected.

“The university is directed to revaluate the answer books as already requested by the writ petitioners,” Justice Kshetarpal asserted, allowing a petition filed by Anshul Garg and other petitioners against Panjab University and other respondents.

Appearing before Justice Kshetarpal’s Bench, the varsity counsel had contended that a conscious decision was been taken by a coordination committee constituted by the Syndicate to exclude the provision for re-evaluation of the answer books, while approving the procedure to be followed for online examination.

After carefully perusing the minutes of the coordination committee meeting held on September 2 last year, Justice Kshetarpal asserted it was apparent that decision to omit or delete the provision for re-checking and re-evaluation was not taken. The proposal prepared by the Controller of Examination to conduct final semester online examination was approved.

Justice Kshetarpal observed the varsity has now taken a stand that the provision for re-checking/re-evaluation would be deemed to have been deleted/omitted since there was no provision for the same in the minutes of the meeting.

It was further observed it would not be appropriate to accept the university counsel’s contention that the decision for re-checking and re-evaluation would not apply to online examination, when the varsity’s supreme body has already made a provision for the same.

Justice Kshetarpal added an examination could be conducted in various manners, such as physically attempting the paper, or by oral, practical or online process. Referring to the dictionary meaning of ‘examination’, Justice Kshetarpal asserted it would take within its sweep all modes of conducting examination. “Hence, the stand of the university that the regulation providing for re-checking and re-evaluation does not apply to online examination cannot be countenanced”.

Justice Kshetarpal added the only addition to the procedure was that the question paper was required to be attempted by a candidate from a remote location and scanned answer books were to be sent through an email.

An option was also given to the students facing network problem to deposit the hard copy to the university within the stipulated time or send it via registered post. The examination plan approved by the committee could not be said to be a complete code to the exclusion of the regulations. Various other provisions made in the regulations would continue to govern the online examination except to the extent they are specifically excluded.

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