The benefits of the Right To Information have been talked about many a times now, and has come in handy in many situations. In a new angle to RTI, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has declared an order that the educational institutions which are public authorities, cannot say not to provide answer sheets under the Right to Information Act.
The ruling comes after the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University refused to forward the information to the students. The university asked the students to move their request to the university examination cell and to pay a specific fee for the same.
Swati Babbar, an architecture student from the IP University wanted a copy of answer sheets which she wrote in the year 2016. On being refused by the public information officer of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), Babbar filed for an RTI.
Along with the refusal, the applicant was also asked to approach the university exam cell and was told that to inspect the answer sheets, a fee of Rs. 1000 would have to be paid. Yashovardhan Azad, the Information Commisioner said "Seeking access to an examination answer script is well within the ambit of the RTI Act." Azad made sure that Babbar or any other candidate who wrote an exam have the right to avail information about the evaluation.
He also said the the Supreme court has considered the evaluated answer sheets withing the bounds of the meaning of 'information'.
The commission was critical about the University's way of charging an amount as fee for providing the answer sheets. The CIC observed that the varsity as per the disagreement of PIO, wasn't against revealing the answer sheets but then wanted the examinee to follow the university's internal system to get the answer sheets.
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