HC pulls up NGO for moving court at 11th hour for direction to CBSE schools on class 10 marks

NGO wanted the CBSE-affiliated schools to upload the reason of assessment criteria before finalizing results for greater transparency.

HC pulls up NGO for moving court at 11th hour for direction to CBSE schools on class 10 marks
Press Trust of India | Jun 30, 2021 - 3:06 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up an NGO for a "publicity stunt" in approaching court at the 11th hour seeking direction to the CBSE-affiliated schools here to publish on their websites the rationale document of assessment criteria for class 10 students before finalizing results for greater transparency.

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The high court said the NGO should not behave like a commercial litigant and it has to be at a higher pedestal. “You think you will come at the 11th hour and get everything stayed. It is publicity stunt. It is in a very very bad taste. It is very very unfair what you are doing to us. Don’t behave like a private litigant. You do espouse petitions on public interest, you can’t behave like an ordinary. You have to espouse much higher cause,” said a vacation bench of Justices Manmohan and Navin Chawla, constituted to hear the matter. It cannot be allowed to indulge in bench hunting, the court said.

After some arguments, the counsel for the NGO, 'Justice for All', said he wished to withdraw the application. The court allowed him to withdraw the application and granted liberty to file a plea seeking early hearing of the main petition, listed for hearing in August, before the roster bench. The application for the interim relief was filed in a pending petition in which the petitioner NGO, Justice For All, has sought to modify the Central Board of Secondary Education's (CBSE) policy for the tabulation of marks of class 10 board exams 2021 based on internal assessment conducted by the schools.

Advocate Khagesh B Jha, representing the NGO, said he had not filed the application for the interim relief with the main petition since the cause has arisen now as after issuance of notice on the petition by the court on June 2, a fresh FAQs have been published by the CBSE on June 9. He said the last date to upload the marks and internal assessment of class 10 students by schools at CBSE website is June 30. The application, through advocate Shikha Sharma Bagga, sought an interim order to direct all the schools affiliated by the board to publish the rationale document for devised criteria for the assessment of students of class 10 on their respective websites, before calculating the result and uploading the same on the CBSE portal, to bring transparency. It said the students should be able access the document and raise grievances with the CBSE well in time along with the sagacious grievance redressal mechanism by the board for the students. The application said that after the issuance of notice by the court on June 2, fresh FAQs have been published by the CBSE on June 9, and it became clear that there is no modification in their alleged arbitrary policy of moderation of marks yet, which is in violation of Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution. “The present policy is absolutely discriminatory, unfair, illogical and would result in huge manipulation of marks by the schools, based on the performance of the senior batch of students of that particular school,” it said.

The high court had on June 2 sought response of the Centre, Delhi government and CBSE on the NGO’s petition claiming that the policy of the board for calculating marks of class 10 students based on the internal assessment by schools was unconstitutional and required to be modified. In its petition, the NGO has said: "The policy of moderating the average marks assessed by the school, based on the historical performance of the previous average result of the school, in terms of the best overall performance of the school would be injustice to the students as the performance of school is not relatable in any manner with the performance of the student." It has also said moderating the marks in consonance with the overall average score of the district, national and state average "was absolutely unreasonable, illogical and punitive for the students of a school which would appear in the board exams for the first time", with no previous data of performance. The NGO has alleged that it can also lead to the manipulation of marks and exploitation, extortion of the students and parents.

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