As published in on 5 May 2008:
CIC in legal wrangle with TNPSC

CIC in legal wrangle with TNPSC

Chennai, May 05: The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Tamil Nadu is caught in a legal wrangle for allegedly ordering provision of information about the "answer keys" to some of the examinations conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC).

The TNPSC, which conducted examinations for recruiting staff for the Secretariat and Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) in January and May last year, had dragged him to the court.

After admitting a writ petition filed by the TNPSC in March this year, Mr Justice K Mohan Ram ordered a notice to CIC.

Since the CIC failed to respond, the court issued the second notice in April. However, till date the CIC is yet to respond.

The Commissioner had ordered the TNPSC provide "answer keys" and questions of the examinations conducted by it, on a petition filed by Mr V Anbazhagan, a social worker. In his petition, Mr Anbazhagan said he was seeking details as there were some discrepancies in the examination conducted by the TNPSC. Three of the four answer options given for a question in objective type happened to be correct, he contended and wanted to know how the TNPSC corrected the papers and awarded the marks.

The CIC had passed orders to provide the details sought by the petitioner holding "the TNPSC was not exempted from the provisions of the RTI Act and principles of transparency is as much as applicable to them as to the Tamil Nadu Information Commission itself." "Answer keys are the fundamental fact to decide whether the evaluation process has been done fairly or not and every citizen and every student has a right to know it," the Commissioner said in his order.

Challenging the CIC order, the TNPSC filed a writ petition stating the Commission was a Constitutional body and its entire functioning was confidential. They could not be compelled to reveal any details with regard to the examinations and selection. The Commissioner's order was unlawful, unjust and arbitrary exercise of power, the TNPSC said and sought to quash the same.