MADURAI: Stating that "to err is human", Madras High Court bench today ruled that a candidate could not be given "zero mark" because he inadvertently failed to shade the serial number of the question paper given to him.
"Rejection of the candidature of petitioner T Vellisubbian by the Teacher Recruitment Board on account of not shading Column-3, which referred to the Serial Number of the Question paper set given to him is a loss to the teaching profession and to the Institution,If he was otherwise a meritorious candidate," Justice S Vaidhyanath said.
The questions in all serial numbers are similar.But they were given different orders to avoid copying. So there was nothing wrong in evaluating the paper (In TRB exam, question papers are given different serial numbers,though the questions are the same in all question papers,in multiple choice questions would be given in different orders)
The judge said if the petitioner was not meritorious, his candidature could be rejected.If he was successful he could be considered for appointment.
The TRB contended that recruitment was over and teachers had joined.If the court gave a blanket direction accepting the petitioner's contention to consider evaluating his paper and appoint him for the post of PGA Assistant (History) on the strength of his marks, it would unsettle the teacher who had already joined and could create a bad precedent and cause disturbance to those who hadjoined.
The Judge said though there was an error in not shading column No3, it directing TRB to evaluate the Optical Mark Recognition) Answer sheet of the petitioner. If successful,he could be considered for appointment in the ensuing vacancy in preference to the other candidates who are likely to be selected and appointed, the court said.