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S. Jayalakshmi and Others Vs. Teacher Recruitment Board, rep by its Chairman, Chennai and Others - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P.Nos. 4682, 3657, 3658, 3686, 3723, 3763, 3949, 4135, 5343, 7456 & 5703 of 2015 & M.P.Nos. 1 to 3 of 2015
Judge
AppellantS. Jayalakshmi and Others
RespondentTeacher Recruitment Board, rep by its Chairman, Chennai and Others
Excerpt:
.....praying to issue a writ of mandamus to direct the respondent to select the petitioner for the post of post graduate assistant for the current year by allotting the correct marks of '99'. petitions filed under article 226 of the constitution of india praying to issue a writ of certiorarified mandamus to call for the records pertaining to the impugned rejection order dated 06.02.2015 published in the 1st and 2nd respondents' official website for the post of post graduate assistants (chemistry) and quash the same and consequently to direct the 2nd respondent to appoint the petitioner for the post of post graduate assistants (chemistry) in the process of selection to be held for the notification/advertisement no.8/2014 dated 07.11.2014 for the year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 and to post in.....
Judgment:

(Prayers: Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a writ of mandamus to direct the respondent to award one mark to the petitioner in the examination conducted on 10.01.2015 for Question No.66 in Booklet Series 'B' in the Tamil Subject and consequently, direct the respondent to appoint the petitioner to the post of P.G.Assistant (Tamil) for the selection conducted by the respondent vide notification dated 07.11.2014.

Petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a writ of mandamus to direct the respondents to revalue the Question No.46/Question No.46 and 48/Question No.46 and 28/Question No.76 in Booklet Series 'D' and Question No.76 and Question No.1 in Booklet Series 'B' of the written examination for direct recruitment of PG Assistant 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 in Tamil conducted on 10.01.2015 and to proceed with selection for the post of P.G.Assistant in Tamil based on the revaluation with correct key answer and consequently, direct the respondents to award one/two/two/one/two marks to the petitioner (Roll Nos.14PG01230347/ 14PG01151507/14PG01090260/14PG01090951/14PG01220108) based on such revaluation and to select the petitioner to the post of PG Assistant in Tamil within the time frame to be fixed by this Court.

Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a writ of mandamus to direct the respondent to select the petitioner for the post of Post Graduate Assistant for the current year by allotting the correct marks of '99'.

Petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a writ of certiorarified mandamus to call for the records pertaining to the impugned rejection order dated 06.02.2015 published in the 1st and 2nd respondents' official website for the post of Post Graduate Assistants (Chemistry) and quash the same and consequently to direct the 2nd respondent to appoint the petitioner for the post of Post Graduate Assistants (Chemistry) in the process of selection to be held for the notification/advertisement No.8/2014 dated 07.11.2014 for the year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 and to post in according to the selection.

Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a writ of mandamus to direct the respondent to revalue the answer sheet and include the name of the petitioner in the selected candidature list in the manner known to law for the post of Post Graduate Assistant/ Physical Directors 2013-14, 2014-2015 in the communal turn of MBC/DMC T for commerce.

Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a writ of mandamus to to direct the respondents to evaluate the petitioner's answer sheet bearing Reg. No.14PG04150059 and award 5 marks to the petitioner, which were wrong key answer in Question Paper 'B' Series of Post of Graduate Assistant in Physics for the year 2014-2015 conducted by the Teacher Recruitment Board and consequently, appoint the petitioner for the post of Post Graduate Assistant in Physics.)

Common Order

1. Since the petitioners have challenged the final key answers for the direct recruitment for the vacancy for the year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 for the post of Post Graduate Assistant/Physical Directors Grade-I dated 07.11.2014, all these writ petitions are disposed of by this common order.

2. W.P.Nos.3723 and 3686 of 2015 have been filed by the respective petitioners to issue writ of certiorarified mandamus challenging the rejection order dated 06.02.2015 for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in Chemistry and to appoint the petitioners for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in Chemistry. The petitioners have applied for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in Chemistry. The petitioners have questioned the correctness of the key answers in respect of Question Nos.13, 54, 61 and 103 in 'D' Series and Question No.49 in 'B' Series.

3. W.P.No.3949 of 2015 has been filed by the petitioner to issue a writ of mandamus to re-value the answer sheet. The petitioner applied for the post of Post Graduate Assistant/Physical Director in Commerce in the communal turn of MBC/DMC T. The petitioner questioned the correctness of the key answers for the Question Nos.7, 16 and 18 in 'C' Series.

4. W.P.No.5343 of 2015 has been filed by the petitioner to issue a writ of mandamus to re-value his answer sheet. The petitioner applied for the post of Post Graduate Assistant in Physics. The petitioner questioned the correctness of the key answers in respect of Question Nos.8, 14, 28, 75 and 125 in 'B' Series.

5. W.P.Nos.3657, 3658, 3763, 4135, 4682, 5703 and 7456 of 2015 have been filed by the petitioners, who have applied for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in Tamil, to issue a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to re-value their answer sheets. The petitioners in these writ petitions have questioned the correctness of the key answers in respect of Question Nos.28, 46 and 48 in 'D' Series and Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question No.66 in 'B' Series.

6. The respondent Board issued Notification on 07.11.2014 inviting applications for direct recruitment for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in various subjects and physical education Grade-I for the year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. The written competitive examination was held on 10.01.2015. The petitioners applied for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in Chemistry, Physics, Commerce and Tamil and wrote the competitive examination on 10.01.2015. The respondent Board published the tentative key answers for all the subjects on the Board's website on 22.01.2015 and advised the candidates to submit their representations regarding objections, if any, to the tentative key answers with relevant proof of authority on or before 05.30 p.m. on 29.01.2015. Pursuant to which the petitioners submitted their representations, which were examined by the Committee of Subject Experts, discussed the objections on the basis of authoritative texts and framed the final key answers. The final key answers were prepared after scrutiny by the subject Experts and the OMR Answer Sheets of all the candidates were evaluated on the basis of the final and revised key answers. Subsequently, the respondent Board published the provisional result of the written competitive examination on 06.02.2015.

7. The petitioners, who have applied for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in Chemistry have stated that the five answers published by the respondents in the tentative key answers were wrongly published. Further, they have stated that they gave representations to the respondents disputing the key answers along with the authoritative proof, but the respondents, without considering their representations, published the results of the written examination along with the revised final key answers containing wrong answers similar to the tentative key answers. According to the petitioners, the final key answers for the Question Nos.13, 54, 61 and 103 in 'D' Series and Question No.49 in 'B' Series are incorrect.

8. In the counter, the Member Secretary, Teachers Recruitment Board has extracted the Question Nos., Booklet Series, key answer of the petitioner, the tentative key and the final key in respect of Chemistry, which reads as hereunder:

Question No. of 'D' SeriesKey answer of the petitionerTentative KeyFinal Key
13ADD
54ABB
61DCC
103CDD
49ABB
Further, the Member Secretary has stated that the petitioners' representations were considered by the Teachers Recruitment Board in proper perspective and the answers and the proof given by the petitioners were discussed thoroughly by the Experts and the Experts came to the conclusion that the tentative key answers in respect of the Question Nos.13, 54, 61 and 103 in 'D' Series and Question No.49 in 'B' Series are undoubtedly correct and accordingly, the final key answers to the aforesaid questions were published. Further, the Member Secretary has stated that the opinions of the subject Experts in the light of unassailable authorities on the subject are filed in the typed set. The Member Secretary has also stated that the petitioners have not demonstrably proved the impugned key answers of the Board are wrong.

9. In W.P.No.5343 of 2015, the petitioner has stated that the key answers published to the Question Nos.8, 14, 28, 75 and 125 in 'B' Series were incorrect, therefore, he should be awarded 5 grace marks for attempting those questions. The Member Secretary, Teachers Recruitment Board in the counter has extracted the impugned Question Nos., Booklet Series, key answer of the petitioner, tentative key and the final key in respect of the Physics, which reads as hereunder:

Question No. of 'B' SeriesKey answer of the petitionerTentative KeyFinal Key
8-CC
14-AA
28-AA
75-BD
125-CC
The Member Secretary, Teachers Recruitment Board has stated that the proof given by the petitioner was discussed thoroughly by the Experts and the Experts came to the conclusion that the final key in respect of Question No.75 in 'B' Series of question paper booklet was wrong and accordingly, the final key answer to the aforesaid question was published. Further, the Member Secretary has stated that the subject Experts revised the tentative key in respect of Question No.75 and decided the final key as 'D' to the said question. Since the evaluation of the OMR Answer Sheets of the candidates, including that of the petitioner were done with the revised and final key answers, the fictitious claim of the petitioner for revaluation of the answer scripts has no legal justification. Further, the Member Secretary has stated that the opinions given by the subject Experts and the authoritative proof on which such opinions were formed would evidently show that the petitioner has not demonstrably proved the final key answers of the respondent Board to Question Nos.8, 14, 28 and 125 of 'B' Series to be wrong.

10. In W.P.No.3949 of 2015, the petitioner has stated that the final key answers published for the Question Nos.7, 16 and 18 in 'C' Series were wrongly given. The respondent, Member Secretary, in the counter has extracted the impugned Question No., Booklet Series, key answer of the petitioner, tentative key and the final key in respect of Commerce, which reads as hereunder:

Question No. of 'B' SeriesKey answer of the petitionerTentative KeyFinal Key
7CCD
16CC*(Deleted)
18ACC
Further, the Member Secretary has stated that the opinions of the subject Experts with reference to the final key to Question Nos.7, 16 and 18 of 'C' Series in the light of unassailable authorities on the subject were considered and the subject Experts and the authoritative proof on which such authorities were formed would evidently show that the petitioner has not demonstrably proved the final key answers of the respondent Board to be wrong.

11. The Experts in the subjects of Chemistry, Physics and Commerce were present in the Court and they also explained to this Court that the final key answers published in the website are indisputably correct answers, supported by various Text Books. I have no reason to disbelieve or contradict the views expressed by the Experts supporting the final key answers published by the respondents.

12. So far as the petitioners, who have have applied for the post of Post Graduate Assistants in Tamil are concerned, they have questioned the final key answers in respect of Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question Nos.28, 46 and 48 in 'D' Series. It would be relevant to extract the questions and the answers in respect of the Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question Nos.28, 46 and 48 in 'D' Series, which are challenged by the petitioners in these writ petitions, which reads as follows:

Question No.46 in 'D' Series:

( Language )

13. The Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question No.46 in 'D' Series are one and the same.

14. So far as Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question No.46 in 'D' Series are concerned, the tentative key answer was 'D' and the final key answer was changed to 'C'. The petitioners answered 'D'. the petitioners claim that their answer is correct and the key answer is wrong.

15. So far as Question No.48 in 'D' Series is concerned, the tentative key answer was 'A' and the final key answer was also 'A', however, the petitioners answered 'D', which according to them is the correct answer.

16. With regard to Question No.28 in 'D' Series, the tentative key answer was 'B' and the final key answer was also 'B', however, the petitioner has answered 'A', which according to him is the correct answer.

17. So far as Question Nos.28 and 48 in 'D' Series are concerned, the Teachers Recruitment Board has stated that the petitioners representations were considered by the Board in proper perspective and the answers and the proof given by the petitioners were discussed thoroughly by the Experts and the Experts came to the conclusion that the tentative key answers in respect of the Question Nos.28 and 48 in 'D' Series are undoubtedly correct and accordingly, the final key answers to the said questions were published. The subject Experts took into consideration the unassailable authorities on the subject. Further, the Board has stated that a cursory glance at the opinions given by the Experts and the authoritative opinions on which such opinions were formed would evidently show that the petitioners have not demonstrably proved the final key answers of the respondent Board to be wrong.

18. The Experts in Tamil, who were present in the Court, also substantiated the claim of the Board in respect of the final key answers for the Question Nos.28 and 48 in 'D' Series (i.e.) 'B' and 'A' respectively. I do not find any reason to disbelieve or contradict the views expressed by the Experts in Tamil with regard to the final key answers in respect of the Question Nos.28 and 48 in 'D' Series.

19. So far as the Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question No.46 in 'D' Series are concerned, since all the questions are one and the same, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that the correct answer for the said question is only 'D' (i.e) ( Language ) and it cannot be 'C' (i.e.) ( Language ).

20. In support of his contentions, the learned counsel also relied upon the Tamil Lexicon Vol-VI published by the University of Madras, whereas, it has been mentioned that meaning of ( Language ) is ( Language ). The learned counsel also relied upon the extract from Katirvel Pillai's Tamil Dictionary wherein also the meaning for ( Language ) has been mentioned as ( Language )

21. On a perusal of the Tamil Lexicon relied upon by the learned counsel for the petitioner, it could be seen that for the word ( Language ), it also means ( Language ) (effort).

22. The petitioners also produced certificates in support of their contentions. However, on a perusal of one of the certificates enclosed at Page No.1 of the additional typed set of W.P.No.4682 of 2015, it could be seen that the certificate has been issued to the effect that the meaning for the word ( Language ) is ( Language ). The person, who had issued the certificate, had relied upon the Tamil Lexicon published by the University of Madras for coming to the said conclusion. But as already stated, in the very same dictionary, it has been stated that the meaning for the word ( Language ) is not only ( Language ), but also ( Language ). However, this was not taken into consideration while issuing the certificate dated 19.02.2015. Even in the other certificates enclosed in the typed set of papers, the said certificates are not very specific about the meaning for the word ( Language ). They have stated that the word ( Language ); can also be the meaning for ( Language ). The Member Secretary, Teachers Recruitment Board in the counter has stated that the subject Experts, after thorough discussion on the basis of the relevant representations of the candidates and in the light of the standard literature and authorities, decided to change the tentative key answer (i.e.) 'D' for the Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question No.46 in 'D' Series to answer 'C'.

23. Since the wrong tentative key to the aforesaid question was rectified, the petitioners cannot have anymore cause of action or grievance against the Board. The subject Experts, who appeared before this Court also explained the reason for arriving at the final key answer as 'C'. In the counter, the Board has also stated that the proof given by the petitioners were discussed thoroughly by the Experts and the Experts came to the conclusion that the tentative key answers in respect of the Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question No.46 in 'D' Series are wrong and accordingly, the final key answer was published as 'C'. Further, the Board has stated that the opinions of the subject Experts in the light of unassailable authorities on the subject are binding on the petitioners. Further, the respondent has stated that the opinions given by the subject Experts and the authoritative proof on which such opinions were formed would evidently show that the petitioners have not demonstrably proved the final key answers of the respondent Board to be wrong.

24. This Court by order dated 30.03.2016 referred the matter to the Subject Experts Committee along with the materials furnished by the petitioners. The Subject Experts/Professors Dr.R.Gunasekaran, Government Arts College for Women, Kumbakonam, Dr.P.Venkatesan, E.V.R.Government Arts College, Trichy and Dr.P.Thamaraikannan, Presidency College, Chennai were consulted with regard to the correct answers for the Question No.66 in 'B' Series, Question No.76 in 'C' Series and Question No.46 in 'D' Series.

25. After scrutiny of the materials putforth by the petitioners, the Experts have stated that they have not expressed any contrary views on the subject matter that the general meaning of the word ( Language ) is ( Language ). They further contended that the colloquial word ( Language ) may imply the meaning ( Language ). But they have opined that the phrase ( Language ) extracted from ( Language ), ( Language ) implies only the meaning ( Language ). Therefore, they concluded that ( Language ) ( Language ) (i.e.) option 'C'. The respondent also consulted the Question Experts/Professors Dr.N.Kalaivani, Queen Mary's College, Chennai and Dr.R.Srinivasan, Presidency College, Chennai to confirm the opinion of the other Experts. Accordingly, the Question Experts had expressed the correct option for the word ( Language ) is only ( Language ). The Experts also stated that even at the time of question paper verification, the correct option for the word ( Language ) has been indicated by them as ( Language ), but during the printing process, the option ( Language ) might have been inadvertently printed. Therefore, they have finally concluded that the correct option is ( Language ). In these circumstances, the Board modified the final key answer as option 'C' - ( Language ).

26. Though the plain meaning of the word ( Language ) may be ( Language ), the exact meaning relevant to the phrase mentioned in the question booklet, as the candidates are expected to point out, is only the exact meaning relevant to the phrase printed in the booklet and the plain meaning cannot be taken into consideration.

27. It is settled law that while exercising the discretionary and extraordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, this Court cannot act like an Expert Body by replacing the assessment made by Experts. The Board has already released the final selection list based on the decision of the subject Experts and decided to award marks for the option 'C'. Since the petitioners have marked the option 'D' for the questions, it is not feasible for the Board to award marks for the said option. Since the petitioners have not secured the eligible cut off marks for the selection, they were not considered for further selection process. That apart, if the claim of the petitioners are accepted, it will lead to alteration of selection list, thereby the selected candidates, who are not parties to the writ petitions, who are all working now, have to be sent out, which will cause grave prejudice to the selected candidates in the recruitment for the year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

28. In the judgment reported in the instant batch of writ petitions, the petitioners have neither challenged the report of the Expert Committee nor they have alleged any arbitrariness or malafides against the Experts of the Committee. On appraisal of the recommendations of the Expert Committee, the questions as well as the texts and the contemporaneous authoritative references relied upon, I am of the view that the same cannot be faulted with. The law is clear that if there is a discrepancy in framing the question or evaluation of the answer, it would be for all the candidates appearing for the examination and not for the petitioners only, thus, no interference is required. It is settled position that the Court should be extremely reluctant to substitute its own views in preference to those formulated by professional persons possessing expertise and rich experience on the subject and the opinion of the expert ordinarily cannot be made the subject of judicial scrutiny simply because some authors expressed their views differently in their books or articles on the subject. This Court cannot sit as an Appellate Court on the recommendations made by the Expert Committee.

29. In the judgment reported in 1983 4 Supreme Court Cases 309 [Kanpur University And Others vs Samir Gupta And Others] the Hon'ble Supreme Court held as follows:

...

We agree that the key-answer should be assumed to be correct unless it is proved to be wrong and that it should not be held to be wrong by an inferential process of reasoning or by a process of rationalisation. It must be clearly demonstrated to be wrong, that is to say, it must be such as no reasonable body of men well-versed in the particular subject would regard as correct. The contention of the University is falsified in this case by a large number of acknowledged text-books, which are commonly read by students in U.P. Those text-books leave no room for doubt that the answer given by the students is correct and the key answer is incorrect.

Students who have passed their Intermediate Board Examination are eligible to appear for the entrance Test for admission to the Medical Colleges in U.P. Certain books are prescribed for the Intermediate Board Examination and such knowledge of the subjects as the students have is derived from what is contained in those text-books. Those text-books support the case of the students fully. If this were a case of doubt, we would have unquestionably preferred the key answer.

30. In the above writ petitions, the petitioners are not able to demonstrate that the final key answers are wrong. If the key answer is demonstrably wrong, then only, this Court has got powers to interfere with the same. The ratio laid down by the Apex Court in 1983 4 Supreme Court Cases 309 [Kanpur University And Others vs Samir Gupta And Others] squarely applies to the facts and circumstances of the present case.

31. When the Experts have categorically stated that the final key answers are correct answers, I do not find any reason to discredit their opinion.

32. In these circumstances, the writ petitions are devoid of merits and the same are liable to be dismissed. Accordingly, the writ petitions are dismissed. No costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.


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