While disposing off the Contempt petition [Kumar Sanu & Anr. v. Central Board for Secondary Education]  filed against the Central Board for Secondary Education, Hon’ble Supreme Court took note of its earlier judgment in the matter of Central Board for Secondary Education & Anr.  v. Aditya Bandhopadhyay & Ors. and the counter affidavit filed by CBSE stating that it would provide photocopies of the answer sheets at Rs. 2 per page as contemplated under Right to Information Act, 2005.

In the matter of CBSE & Anr. v. Aditya Bandhopadhyay & Ors.  Hon’ble Supreme Court held that answer sheet would fall under the ambit of the definition ‘information’ under section 2(f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, therefore the fees payable for obtaining answer sheet is determined by the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Costs) Rules, 2005. Accordingly, under rule 4 the applicant would have to pay Rs. 2 per page of information sought along with Rs. 10 application fees.

In the present contempt petition filed, a counter affidavit was filed by CBSE wherein they stated that they are following the judgment given by Hon’ble Supreme Court i.e. they are only charging Rs. 2 per page for providing photocopy of the answer sheets, but when the students requests for re-evaluation/verification of marks it requires a engagement of lot of manpower and resources in order to complete the process within the stipulated time considering that the admission to higher education depends upon the final marks obtained by the students and the humungous amount of answer sheets collected throughout the country as well as the schools affiliated by CBSE situated in foreign land.

The bench comprising of Hon’ble Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and Justice K. M. Joseph disposed off the contempt petition filed by WHIP (Whistle for Public Interest) by accepting the counter affidavit filed by CBSE, thus making it yet again clear that photocopy of CBSE answer sheets can be obtained at Rs. 2 per page.

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