[RTI] UPSC explains why it can’t release the answerkey before “entire” examination process is over

In RTI by Support Staff

  1. Prologue
  2. UPSC’s petition in Delhi HC
  3. UPSC’s grounds for seeking Relief against CIC’s order
  4. UPSC’s Prayer to Delhi HC

Prologue

  • Those who have been in this competition business long enough, know that whenever you file RTI to UPSC seeking answerkey for CSAT, IES, IFoS, CDS, CAPF, APFC or any exam, UPSC doesn’t give the answerkey saying “examination process is not yet complete.” And as you’re aware most of these examinations take average 8-11 months to finish.
  • In August 2012, I had filed an RTI seeking answer keys for CSAT 2012 (prelims), UPSC didn’t provide. Finally CIC heard the matter in March 2013, ruled in my favor and ordered UPSC to disclose the answerkey. (Click me for more)
  • UPSC decided to challenge his order in the Delhi High court.
  • After final result for 2012 was out, UPSC willingly disclosed the answerkey but that’s a different story- the issue was to get the answerkey without having to wait for some 11 months until the entire examination process is over.
  • Yesterday (15th July), I received a notice from Delhi HC because UPSC has listed me as respondent. The hearing date is 4th October 2013.
  • It also contains copy of the UPSC writ petition: in which UPSC explains why they don’t release the answerkey before the entire examination process is over. I’m copy pasting that portion here:

UPSC’s petition in Delhi HC

……The Learned Central Information Commissioner (CIC) had issued notice to both the parties and thereafter heard their submission; the contentions and genuine concerns raised by the petitioner (UPSC) to the CIC were neglected and unheard and the Learned CIC was please to pass an order dated 01.03.2013 in favour of the respondent (Mrunal).

It is humbly submitted that the CIC has erroneously allowed the Appeals of the respondent (Mrunal) by way of the non-speaking order without properly appreciating and addressing the contentions, genuine concerns and practical difficulties of the Petitioner (UPSC). In view of this, it would be in the fitness if the decision of the Hon’ble Central Information Commission (CIC) regarding the answer keys for the Preliminary Examination 2012 to be supplied to appellant be challenged in this Hon’ble Court by citing the following grounds:-

UPSC’s grounds Seeking Relief against CIC’s order

  • That the Learned  CIC failed to appreciate that the Petitioner (UPSC) has not denied to disclose the information sought completely rather the Petitioner had informed that once the entire examination process is over the said answer keys will be disclosed to the Respondent (Mrunal). It is submitted that no prejudice shall be caused to the Respondent if the said information is disclosed at the end of the examination process in as much as in any case the answer keys will be relevant to him for the next exam and not the current one.
  • There is no larger public interest involved in insisting on disclosure of the answer keys when the examination process is not yet over. It is however, pertinent to point out that larger public interest demands that the information sought is disclosed only once the entire examination process is over and there is not even the remote possibility of the information seeker to use the said information in any adverse manner so as to stall/ impact/ affect the examination process adversely.
  • That by divulging the information about the preliminary stage of examination before completion of the entire process of Civil Services Examination (all three stages) could adversely affect the entire examination process on account of frivolous objections/representation from the unsuccessful candidates at this intermediary stage.
  • That the impugned order based on the erroneous observation that the preliminary examination is only a qualifying stage having no bearing on the subsequent stages of examination is unfounded in the backdrop that the Rules/notification of the Examination issued by the Government/ Commission considers and treats the entire examination process as one and mentioned as Civil Service Examination which consists of three stages namely 1) Preliminary 2) Main 3) the Personality test.
  • That the Rules/notification of the Examination issued by the Government/ Commission are mentioned as Civil Services Examination consisting of three stages of examination. Therefore, each stage cannot be considered as solitary and each stage cannot be singled out as to point out and put as an end of examination.
  • That the present case pertains to preliminary stage of Civil Services Examination and is considered to be the first stage of the entire examination process as the said examination consists of Preliminary, the Main and the Personality test, thus forming a part of single continuum and are not standalone.
  • That each stage of the Examination is based on certain ratio to be followed so that the unqualified candidates can be eliminated and qualified candidates can be selected from the total number of candidates appeared at each stage.
  • Therefore, the process could be considered as complete only after conducting the interviews and finalization of the list of the candidates recommended by the Commission to be forwarded to the Government.
  • That the unqualified candidates may make use of the information received by them in respect of the answer keys before the entire selection process/ examination process is over and may institute frivolous complaints/ file court cases without any bases and make false and baseless allegations with the sole malafide intention of stalling the entire process midstream and interfere with the discharge of the Constitutional duties of the Commission within a time bound manner.
  • That in I.A No. 1 of 2011 in Special Leave Petition (C) No. 32443 of 2010 passed an order dated 30.09.2011 by the Apex Court whereby it was observed that :

In case, in future the UPSC is faced with any difficulty with regard to supplying information in relation to the examinations, the process of which remains incomplete, it will be open to it to seek appropriate remedies in accordance with law. With the aforesaid observation, IA No.1 stands disposed of.

  • Therefore, the information to be disclosed to the respondent will be appropriate after taking due care and diligence only after the completion of the entire process and declaration of the final results of the Civil Services Examination 2012.
  • That the Petitioner (UPSC) has not filed any other Petition against the impugned order before this Hon’ble Court or any other competent Court.
  • The Petitioner (UPSC) has no other equal efficacious remedy except to file this appeal before this Hon’ble Court against the impugned judgment.

UPSC’s Prayer to Delhi HC

It is, therefore, most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to:

  1. Allow the present Petition.
  2. Set aside and quash the impugned order dated 01.03.2013 passed in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001599 (Right to information Act-Section 19) passed by the Central Information Commission, New Delhi; and/or
  3. Pass an appropriate order(s)/ direction(s) as are deemed fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the present case.

Ref

Scanned copy of the notice received from Delhi HC, on 15th July 2013
https://files.secureserver.net/0sXYYvUJGZSNB6