The Delhi High Court held that once a school uploads the marks of a student on the website of CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), it cannot seek any correction in that regard.

The Court held thus in a petition in which a school student had approached the court through her father seeking a writ of mandamus against the CBSE.

A Single Bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar observed, “The submission of Mr. Sahoo that the Circular should be treated as merely advisory as it uses the word “will” and not “shall” is hardly acceptable in the present circumstances. The intent of the Circulars is clear and categorical. Once a school uploads the internal assessment marks of a student on the website of the CBSE, it cannot seek any correction in that regard, even if there was an error while uploading the marks.”

The Bench said that it empathizes with the situation of the student in this case but it is powerless to grant any relief.

Advocate N.K. Sahoo appeared on behalf of the petitioners while Advocate Ashok Kumar appeared on behalf of the respondents.

Brief Facts -

A student of the Indian School at Muscat, Oman, affiliated to the CBSE, had entered Class X in 2019 and passed out of Class X in 2020 and she was maxing in her papers throughout. In 2020, the CBSE announced the final examination results of Class X and on perusing the results, it was noticed that she was awarded only 18 marks out of 20 in the internal assessment in the Social Studies paper, though she had scored 20 out of 20 in all other subjects. This provoked her parents to contact the school.

The school had addressed a communication to the CBSE stating that it had erroneously uploaded the internal assessment marks of seven students including her as 18 instead of 20 and as such it requested the CBSE to carry out the necessary corrections at its end. As the CBSE was unwilling to accede the request to revise the marks, she approached the court by filing the writ petition. She sought a writ of mandamus directing CBSE to correct her marks, along with consequential reliefs.

The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “How Miloni presumed that she had scored 20 on 20 in the internal assessment of her Social Studies paper, and not 18 on 20, is not immediately forthcoming from the writ petition. However, that may not be a matter of concern as the school apparently acknowledged its mistake. … The Circulars dated 8 November 2019 and 30 January 2020 of the CBSE are clear and categorical. They do not allow any change in the internal assessment marks for a student as uploaded by the school on the website of the CBSE.”

The Court further said that the schools have been advised to be careful while uploading the marks, as once the marks are uploaded, no correction would be allowed and such an advisory finds place in both the Circulars dated November 8, 2019 and January 30, 2020 of the CBSE.

“Para 8 of the Circular dated 8 November 2019 specifically stipulates, in the matter of the marks relating to internal assessment in Classes X and XII, that no request from the school stating that wrong marks have been uploaded, would be entertained once the marks already stood uploaded on the CBSE’s website. The marks once uploaded would be treated as final for preparing the result of the CBSE”, it held.

The Court also noted that it is not a case in which the error has taken place at the end of the CBSE and if that had been the position, it may still have been possible to contend that the petitioners had a legitimate grievance.

“The proscription, in my considered opinion, is eminently in public interest. Schools in India, as well as abroad, are affiliated to the CBSE. Utter chaos would result if schools were permitted to commit errors while uploading students’ marks on the website of the CBSE and thereafter, call upon the CBSE to correct the marks awarded at their end. The CBSE would also not be in a position to blindly accept such requests, and would, if this practice were to be allowed, have to conduct independent verifications in each such case to ascertain the actual marks which the candidate had been awarded”, it concluded.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the writ petition.

Cause Title- Nilkanth Das and Ors. v. CBSE and Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:94)

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