Tug of war | CBSE, BIHARI Boy and Supreme Court

– Whistle for Public Interest, a group formed by two law students, Kumar Shanu and Paras Jain, has raised their voice against CBSE for charging exorbitant fee for providing the photocopy of the evaluated mark sheet.

Kumar Shanu, a native of Bihar and a Loyola High School alumni , soon after getting complaints from students from across the country, filed an RTI application with CBSE to inquire about the process of accessing evaluated answer-sheets. The letter raised voice against the irregularity and contempt of the Supreme Court ruling of 2011. It said that no application under RTI will be accepted for accessing the evaluated answer-sheets. Students who intend to verify their marks would have to pay a fee of Rs. 300. Further, to obtain a copy of the answer book, an additional fee of Rs. 700 would have to be paid, meaning that no candidate can obtain a photocopy of the answer book without applying for verification of mark.  The whole process was interlinked. A student hence needs to spend Rs. 1,000 for the purpose.

The petition arises from the fact that the Supreme Court had already ruled in a 2011 case (CBSE vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay) that the answer scripts be made available to students via the RTI Act if a request is made within the period of three months for which the answer-books are maintained by the CBSE. Since an RTI application only requires one to pay Rs. 10 as the application fee and Rs. 2 for each page of information sought, the cost of obtaining a copy of one’s own answer sheet for a student would be much less than what they need to currently pay according to CBSE regulations.

“There are over 50 lakh students who appear Board Exams, JEE, NEET and NET of CBSE every year. The number is growing every year. It was really shocking for me that CBSE being such a premium board violating the law at such ease. Students have to pay Rs 1,000 per subject instead of Rs 10, to gain access to their answer sheet and get them verified again,” said Kumar Shanu to PatnaBeats.


“At first place, requested the CBSE chairman to discontinue with the unfair practice and the arbitrary rule of charging exorbitant fees from students.  CBSE’s  inability to comply the law laid down by the Supreme Court in its reply dated  16 Feb, 2016 was shocking.” added Shanu.

Shanu, a final year law student, didn’t have enough resources to hire a lawyer, decided to help himself. Shanu and his friends had earlier challenged the arbitrary provisions of Delhi High Court RTI Rules, argued the matter themselves and got the rules amended in January 2016.

 “The present matter is listed for hearing on 1st August 2016 and will be argued before the Bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice P.C. Pant by eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan,” said Shanu.

Prashant Bhushan, an activist lawyer is working on pro-bono basis, which 
has been his working style for years and has taken up about 500 cases dealing with “good causes”.

You can read the letters of  Representation to CBSE  and  CBSE Reply to Representation.