In a bid to maintain transparency, the Bombay High Court has suggested to the National Testing Agency to introduce a Students Copy of the answer sheet so as to be handed over to the examinee students.

The bench of Justice Sanjay A. Deshmukh and Justice Ravindra V. Ghuge observed that, after the answer sheet is complete and the exams are over, the original copy, as well as the office copy go back to National Testing Agency and the students do not have any such copy as a proof of the answers that have been offered.

"It is, therefore, suggested that one such carbon copy, called as the 'Students Copy' be generated, so as to be handed over to the examinee students. We would call upon respondent /National Testing Agency, to consider the said suggestion in an attempt to maintain transparency and if it appeals to the said organization, they would be at liberty to introduce such a 'Students Copy'.," the bench noted.

In this case the grievance of the petitioner- Sanika Nandlal Shinde was as regards the first result sheet which she noticed online on September 07, 2022 which is the date of declaration of the results, to be different from the second printout taken by her on September 17, 2022. She had prayed to set aside the result sheet printed from the website on September 17, 2022 being contrary to the result of the Petitioner declared on September 07, 2022.

She had further prayed to permit her to participate in the admission process for medical courses for the academic year 2022 – 2023 on the basis of her mark sheet printed on September 07, 2022.

Advocate Mukul S. Kulkarni appeared for the petitioner whereas Standing Counsel A. T. Jadhavar and AGP P. K. Lakhotiya appeared for the Respondents.

The Court observed that "In the case before us, the petitioner, who is present in the Court, has honestly stated that the original answer sheet, the office copy and the one which was supplied to her at page 218 of the petition paper book, are the same and she admits the answers that she has set out in the answer sheet. The authenticated Score Card squarely matches with the answers, which are admitted by the petitioner. As such, in these circumstances, this petition cannot be entertained and the same is dismissed."

Insofar as the grievance of the petitioner, as to how did she get a printout of an incorrect Score Card which had a different QR Code as compared to the authenticated answer sheet, the Court left it open to the petitioner, to lodge a specific detailed complaint to respondent National Testing Agency.

In another petition filed by another examinee, it was contended that the copy of the answer sheet that the petitioner received purportedly through National Testing Agency, does not match with the original and office copy of the OMR sheet.

The Court observed that on comparing the entire original and office copy of the answer sheet, there was no discrepancy at all. Therefore this petition was also dismissed with liberty to the petitioner, to lodge a specific complaint with the National Testing Agency.

Cause Title- Sanika Nandlal Shinde v. The Union Of India, Through The Secretary & Others with Anr.

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