BANGALORE: In a landmark decision, the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) has ruled that evaluated answer scripts should be made available to anybody who wishes to see them and cannot be kept confidential for the benefit of the examiners.
The commission has ordered the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) to make available the answerscripts free of cost to applicant E Ramamurthy, who sought copies of four answer scripts of the Gazetted Probationers Examinations, 1998.
State chief information commissioner K K Misra and state information officer K A Thippeswamy have rejected the KPSC's plea, which said that answer scripts cannot be made public as they are exempted under Sec 8 (i) (e) and 8 (i) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005.
KIC observed.It is clear that KPSC as the owner of the information (including the answer scripts and the marks awarded) is under no responsibility or obligation to keep it confidential in trust and for the benefit of the examiners. Opening up of the evaluation process including making the evaluated answer books available to anyone, who wishes to see them is very much necessary as a confidence building measure and reviving the faith of citizens in these august institutions.
More importantly, it has rejected the Central Information Commission's decision under Section 8 (i) (j) saying that seeking evaluated answer papers either his/her own or others is purely personal and has no relationship to any public interest or activity. "This view does not appear correct to this commission.
Although the applicant is not to be asked the purpose for seeking information, in the present case, providing the information would ensure the impartiality, objectivity, and fairness of the evaluation by examiners appointed by public services commissions whose purpose incidentally is of utmost concern to the people," it stated.
the KIC has held.Once evaluated answer scripts are made freely available the examiners who are entrusted with the task of evaluation would be more careful and objective in their assessment. Providing a copy of answer scripts does not mean that the candidate becomes entitled to revaluation...Making available copies of the answer scripts would only bring indirect pressure on the examiners to be fair and impartial