Kolkata:The Calcutta High Court imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the West Bengal Joint entrance examinations(WBJEE) board for its “callousness and lackadaisical attitude” in the conduct of WBJEE (medical) examination, 2016.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty directed the WBJEE Board to deposit the sum with the registrar of Calcutta University (CU) as “cost” for mishandling the examination. The bench gave directions to the registrar that the fine money be spent on benefiting the poor and meritorious students. However, the examination was not cancelled by the court.
A response to a PIL filed by Raj Kumar Mukherjee, led the court to pronounce the above punishment. Petitioner Raj Kumar had in his petition contended that conduction of examination was “totally illegal and mala fide” , right from setting question papers for the examination to publication of their results.
“Some students did not fill up their OMR sheets properly. Besides, the questions in physics and chemistry papers were not in sequence. When examine es pointed out these anomalies, the board did not take steps to rectify the lapse and published the results,” the petition stated. It also alleged, “The board played with the destinies of thousands of examine es who appeared in the examination to fill 2,400 medical seats in different medical colleges in the state.”
The petitioner’s counsel, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya presenting arguments contended that the examination should be cancelled as the board had not conducted conduct it in a proper manner. However, WBJEE Board’s counsel Tapan Mukherjee rejecting the petitioner’s contention said that the examination had been conducted as per norms of the board.
The division bench on hearing the two sides delivered a judgment issuing strictures against the WBJEE Board for the irregular manner in which the examination was conducted, imposing ’costs’ of Rs 5 lakh on it.
Last year, an agitated crowd of aspirants crowded outside the WBJEE board office at Rajarhat, on August 26, 2016, demanding publication of ranks and marks of students alongside each other , by the board.
However, September 2, 2016, saw the WBJEE Board publish a merit list of 4,000 successful candidates, with no reflection of marks obtained by them, despite, student demand for it. The aspirants felt upset when the board asked students to upload model answer keys on its website to assess their scores reports TOI.