One Sangeet Kumari Jamwal of Gandhi Nagar, Jammu approached the State Information Commission with 2nd appeal against J&K Public Service Commission complaining that she was denied answer key of the screening test for the post of Assistant Professor in Higher Education Department on the ground that Rule 12(B) of the J&K PSC (Conduct of Examination) Rules, 2005, which provided for showing the answer key, has been deleted.
The SIC took serious note of this complaint and duly examined the rules governing such complaints. It heard the argument of the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the J&K PSC and the counsel for appellant and perused the record pertaining to the appeal. After thrashing out the legalities accompanying the RTI Act the State Information Commission announced its directions to the PSC to publicise answer key immediately when the examination of the candidates finishes.
This is a far reaching judgment and we hail it as a remarkably progressive approach to the right to information. Thousands of students are involved in appearing for various examinations under the aegis of the PSC. It is a matter of their career and the cause of society. Withholding the answer key means giving rise to doubts and suspicions that bring the integrity of the PSC into question. It has to be noted that the PSC holds examinations for gazetted and also important posts in the administrative area of the State. The purpose of these examinations is to provide the best talent for the service of the State. Selection of best talent has to be fair, objective and above board. The question is why it denied the candidate the answer key so that she would satisfy herself that nothing unfair has been done in her case at the level of PSC. We highly appreciate the bold judgment of the SIC and we understand that it will be of great satisfaction to thousands of candidates who appear for various examinations year after year in the State. The judgment will help PSC discharge its functions with more discretion and objectivity rather than get bogged with the maze of intricate rules.