The Supreme Court has admitted a special leave petition filed by Hyderabad-based childrenâ€™s rights organisation Balala Hakula Sangham in connection with the deaths of Intermediate students in Telangana. Over 20 students have ended their lives since the results of the Intermediate exam, the state board equivalent of Class 11 and 12, were announced in April this year.
The petition by BHS comes two months after the Telangana High Court ruled in favour of the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) and dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition that sought action against officials of the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE).
Speaking to TNM, Achyuta Rao from the BHS said, "We have three demands; Rs 50 lakh must be given as ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased students, action must be taken on TSBIE officials who are found responsible, and the role of Globarena, the firm which was involved in correcting the papers, should be probed."
The case is scheduled to come up for hearing on Friday.
Noting that there was only an error of 0.16% in the verification of the board results, the HC had stated that the figure was not as grave as claimed by the petitioners and observed that Board officials could not be persecuted.
The SCâ€™s move comes days after President Ram Nath Kovind sought a report on the deaths of the students in Telangana following a representation by BJP leader K Laxman alleging foul play by the government. The petition filed by BHS is scheduled for hearing on August 23.
The TSBIE had declared the results of Intermediate examinations on April 18. Out of 9.43 lakh students who appeared in the exams, 5.6 lakh had cleared it. After the announcement of results, several errors by the authorities in the evaluation of answer scripts and processing of results came to light, triggering a huge public outcry.
After over 20 students killed themselves, allegedly dejected with their marks, opposition parties and student bodies took to the streets demanding justice for the students.
On May 27, the TSBIE announced the results of the re-verified answer scripts of over 3.82 lakh students who had failed to obtain passing marks. Following this process, 1,137 students, who were earlier declared "failed", cleared the exams.