Academic Matters Are Best Left To Academics, Courts Should Not Re-Evaluate Answer Sheets As It Has No Expertise- SC
The Supreme Court has held that the Courts should not re-evaluate or scrutinize the answer sheets of a candidate as it has no expertise in the matter and the academic matters are best left to academics.
The Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice MM Sundresh placed reliance on the decision of Vikesh Kumar Gupta & Another v. State of Rajasthan & Ors., wherein it was held that the Court should not re-evaluate or scrutinize the answer sheets of a candidate as it has no expertise in the matter and the academic matters are best left to academics.
The Bench while deciding the appeal answered the issue that whether in the absence of any provision for re-evaluation, the High Court was justified in ordering re-evaluation after calling for the record of the answer scripts or not.
Counsel Y. Raja Gopala Rao appeared for the Appellant while Counsel Annam Venkatesh appeared for the Respondents before the Court.
The Counsel appearing on behalf of the University submitted that in absence of any provision for re-evaluation, the High Court was not justified in ordering re-evaluation of the answer sheets/answer scripts, and that too while exercising powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and relied upon the Apex Court's decision in the case of Pramod Kumar Srivastava v. Chairman, Bihar Public Service Commission, Patna & Others, (2004) 6 SCC 714) wherein it was held that in absence of any provision for re-evaluation in the relevant rules, examinees have no right to claim or demand reevaluation.
The Court also relied upon its decision in the case of Ran Vijay Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 2 SCC 357 wherein it was held that "sympathy or compassion does not play any role in the matter of directing or not directing re-evaluation of an answer sheet."
Accordingly, the Court allowed the Appeal and held that "the High Court was not at all justified in calling the record of the answer scripts and then to satisfy whether there was a need for re-evaluation or not. As reported, the High Courts are calling for the answer scripts/sheets for satisfying whether there is a need for re-evaluation or not and thereafter orders/directs re-evaluation, which is wholly impermissible. Such a practice of calling for answer scripts/answer sheets and thereafter to order re-evaluation and that too in absence of any specific provision in the relevant rules for re-evaluation and that too while exercising powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is disapproved."
Cause Title- Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences v. Dr. Yerra Trinadh & Others