New Delhi: The courts cannot review answer keys prepared by subject experts, Delhi high court has said while rejecting a petition challenging the CBSE answer keys for the questions in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), 2016.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said the question paper and the answer keys were prepared by independent subject experts and courts “cannot take over the task of correcting the answer set” in the keys framed by independent subject experts.
“In view of the above, I am not inclined to exercise powers under Article 226 of the Constitution and to examine the questions and the answer key set by the respondents (CBSE and others) and even to return a prima facie finding that the contention of the petitioner (that) the answers given by the petitioner are correct or the answers given by the respondents are incorrect,” justice Sachdeva.
The court, while dismissing a plea by a candidate, also noted that the information bulletin for NEET-2016 specifically stipulated that there was no provision for rejecting or re-evaluating the answer sheets.
“In the instant case also, the experts, who had set the question paper, have reiterated the answer key and the objections raised by various candidates have been dealt with. The answer key has been uniformly applied to all candidates who have taken the examination. “The question paper and the answer key are prepared by independent subject experts. The court, in exercise of powers under Article 226 of the Constitution, cannot take over the task of correcting the answer set in the answer key framed thereto by an independent subject expert,” the bench said.
The petition was filed by Sagar Sanjeev Dua challenging the answers of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to five questions of NEET and for appointment of an independent expert or panel of experts to examine the petitioner’s contentions and evaluate whether the answers given by him were correct or the view of the Board was correct.
“The question paper is from physics, chemistry and biology. For a court to assess and examine even, prima facie, whether the answers are correct or incorrect, would be beyond the competence of a court, which may not be an expert in the said subjects,” the court said.
The court also cited a judgement of the Supreme Court in which it was held that a court cannot take upon itself the task of statutory authorities and it is not permissible for the court to take upon itself the task of examiner and examine the discrepancies and inconsistencies in the question paper and evaluation thereof.