1. The petitioner has sought for a direction to the opp. parties for scrutinizing his examination papers by the same four examiners of the Annual H.S.C. Examination, 2004 to determine his rank in the first ten students as he secured more than the cut-off mark 682 out of 750.
2. The petitioner appeared in the H.S.C. Annual Examination in 2004 conducted by the Board of Secondary Education Orissa with the Roll No. 23SA061. The result was published on 25.6.2004 and he was shocked to find out that he secured only 654 marks out of 750. The petitioner ventilated has grievance approaching the opp. party No. 1 on 25.6.2004 and 28.6.2004 mentioning his dissatisfaction of the marks awarded, i.e., 654 as per Annexure-4. The representation of the petitioner was considered by the opp. party No. 1 and the petitioner was awarded 65 marks in SSH (Paper-I) instead of 35. Accordingly, the revised mark sheet was supplied to him on 7.7.2004 raising his total mark to 684 in place 654.
3. The opp. parties had followed the method to find out the top ranking ten students by scrutinising answer papers of 100 students of HSC Examination, 2004 who had secured highest mark chronologically, the cut off mark being 682. At the time of scrutiny, the petitioner's mark sheet was showing 654 and was not qualifying to the zone of considerations as the mark was much below the cut-off mark, i.e., 682 in aggregate. SI. No. 10, the best student in order of merit in the Annual H.S.C. Examination, 2004 was found to have secured 698 marks. It is averred by the petitioner that to find out the first ranking ten students the orders for scrutiny was issued under Annexure-11. The instructions of the opp. parties was, to examine the papers of hundred students by three examiners. It is only in case of difference of 5 marks awarded by the three examiners, it has to be examined by the 4th examiner. Thereafter the petitioner's father made another representation (Annexure-13) before the opp. party No. 3 with a request to revalue and scrutinize the petitioner's papers in awarding him rank within top ten students of H.S.C. Examination, 2004 to which the opp. parties expressed their inability. Hence, the petitioner has approached the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court with the above indicated prayer.
4. The opp. parties have admitted the total mark secured by the petitioner was 684. They also admitted the total cut-off mark was 682 to bring the papers of the student into the zone of consideration while ranking the top ten examinees. They have also admitted that due to error in the computer firm in the SSH paper of the petitioner the mark was substituted as 65 in place of 35 and fresh mark sheet on 7.7.2004 was supplied to the petitioner. The concerned headmaster of the High School was also intimated accordingly vide letter No. 21187 dated 16.7.2004. The opp. parties have, however, admitted that in response to the application (Annexure-7) of the petitioner the marks were rechecked and the marks only in SSH paper was again raised from 65 to 71 and the petitioner was intimated vide letter No. 8213 dated 11.11.2004 raising the total marks of the petitioner from 684 to 690. Accordingly, the revised provisional certificate-cum-memorandum of mark was also supplied to the petitioner through the Balasore Zonal Office vide letter No. 9028 on 4.12.2004. It has been further mentioned in the affidavit that since the petitioner's mark was 654 at the time of publication of the result, his answer papers have not been examined by the Committee of three examiners for finding out his rank as the same was much below the cut-off mark 682. They have further said that the methods to find out the mark of best 10 students were applied only on precautionary measure. According to the opp. parties, in absence of any rule for re-evaluation the petitioner's case should be dismissed.
5. Learned Counsel for the petitioner Shri Ganeswar Rath contends that the petitioner's papers should be scrutinized for placement on his rank as he has been deprived for the same due to the mistake of the opp. party by awarding him 654 marks in aggregate at the time of publication of result.
6. On the contrary, Learned Counsel for the opp. party submits that in absence of the Rule of re-evaluation, the petitioner's prayer has no force relying on the decision of the Apex Court in Board of Secondary Education v. Pravash Ranjan Panda (Civil Appeal No. 5413-5414 of 2004) while admitting the mistakes.
7. Since the opp. parties have admitted the mistake leading to the suffering of the petitioner, the only question left for determination is to whether the examination papers of the petitioner shall be revalued for his placement in the rank (if any).
8. In this connection, the view taken in Bismaya Mohanty v. Board of Secondary Education, Orissa represented by its Secretary and Ors., 1996 (I) OLR 134 was not approved by the Apex Court (Civil Appeal No. 5413-5414 of 2004) in Pravash Ranjan Panda's case decided on 13.8.2004. Similar view was also taken by the Supreme Court in the case of Pramod Kumar Srivastava v. Chairman Bihar Public Service Commission, Patna (Civil Appeal No. 5046 of 2004) decided on 6.8.2004. While considering those cases, the Apex Court mentioned the hazards of re-evaluation in absence of any specific rule.
9. Admittedly, there is no rule/regulations requiring re-evaluation at the instance of any student. The method adopted by the Board of Secondary Education, Orissa to find out the top ranking 10 students was done only in precautionary measure and not on the application of any students. It is needless to say that the students placed in the top rank of 10 must have taken admission in various colleges and they have already received the awards from the State Government on 15th August 2004. Further in view of the absence of any specific Rule, the examination papers of the petitioner cannot be revalued on his application except rechecking and re-addition on payment of required fee. The petitioner has already been intimated regarding change of mark raising the same from 654 to 690 in aggregate. We may reiterate that the mistake was of Board of Secondary Education in depriving the student from the zone of consideration by awarding him wrong mark in-addition. Therefore, while dismissing the Writ Application, we direct the Board of Secondary Education, Orissa (O.P. No. 1) to compensate the petitioner with a cost of Rs. 20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand) to be paid within a month from today.
10. The Writ application is dismissed with the aforesaid direction.
P.K. Mohanty, J.