The Telangana High Court on Wednesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition that sought action against officials of the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) as over 20 students had ended their lives, since the results of the Intermediate exam, the state board equivalent of Class 11 and 12, were announced.
The PIL was being heard by a division bench which received reports submitted by the Telangana government, which showed that the answer scripts of 3,82,166 students were re-verified and 1,183 students had passed, which accounts to an error of 0.16% by TSBIE authorities in evaluation.
Stating that 0.16% was not 'grave' as the petitioners described the case, the bench said that while the death of 23 students was unfortunate, re-verification of papers did not result in them passing, and observed that Board officials could not be persecuted.
The court observed that families of students who ended their lives could not be paid compensation either but said that the state government was free to conduct a departmental enquiry to establish if needed.
The TSBIE has been at the centre of controversy since April with many demanding that the board's Secretary, A Ashok, be sacked.
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.
Earlier this month, in a crass display of insensitivity, the TSBIE in a press release, denied reports that a first-year Inter student who took her own life after she was declared 'failed' in the exams, had passed after re-verification. Insisting that Anamika Arutla had failed, the TSBIE claimed that it was a 'clerical error' which led to the re-verified paper showing that Anamika had passed.
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.