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RTI cannot be used to reveal CBSE marks, says Delhi High Court

Marks obtained by students in CBSE board exams cannot be revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) act, the Delhi High Court stated in what could be termed as a landmark ruling that would strengthen the new grading system introduced into the curriculum.

The high court overruled a previous ruling by a single judge bench and the Central Information Commission (CIC) that asked the CBSE to reveal the marks secured by a female student in her class X board exam.

RTI cannot be used to reveal CBSE marks, says Delhi High Court. Apparently, Anil Kumar Kathpal, the father of the student in question, had asked the CBSE to provide him with the details of his daughter’s performance in individual subjects. He argued that with those details, it would be a lot easier for him to spot the girl’s weak areas in studies and help timely rectify them.

CBSE, which had rejected the father’s plea, was later asked by the CIC to comply with Kathpal’s request stating, “since, the marks were available with the appellant (CBSE) and since none of the exemptions under the RTI Act were attracted to support the non disclosure thereof, the appellant was bound to and directed to provide the information sought.”

While hearing the case, the high court specifically noted that if CBSE marks are brought under the ambit of the RTI act, it would “defeat” the core purpose of the new grading system, introduced in order to refurbish the way progress of individual students are calibrated.

“We are unable to agree; we feel that the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of ‘marks’, in the regime of ‘grades’ have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof,” the bench comprising  of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, said in the ruling, the Firstpost reports.

“The objective, in replacing the marks with grades, as can be gathered from the documents on record, was to grade students in a bandwidth rather than numerically…,” it added.

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