Delivering judgment in a batch of cases challenging CBSE bye-law imposing restriction on personal detail changes on mark sheets, the Supreme Court of India observed that a ‘realistic time’ for permitting correction is very important. According to Livelaw.in, the three-judge bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilker, Justice BR Gavai, and Justice Krishna Murari said that that there should be a different approach by CBSE in its time-limit for accepting requests from the students for correction or changes in the certificates.
The court said that the change in the approach was required as students may fail to identify errors or their impact in the future, since they are young and ‘casual’. The court judgment also mentioned that the students may not use these certificates immediately and by the time they use them, the limitation period of correction may elapse.
Citing Article 19 of the constitution, the court added that the right to seek correction in name and identity was part of a fundamental right. “In case of any ordinary civil rights, it is important that the action for enforcement of such rights is initiated in prescribed time and consistency is but is it permissible to say the same about fundamental rights," observed Justice Khanwilkar.
The court also said that there was merit in CBSE’s argument that frequent changes can not be permitted as there is a scope of abuse and misuse, apart from administrative burden. However, it concluded that the mere possibility of abuse can not deter the Board from fulfilling essential functions
As per the existing provisions of CBSE, the changes in personal details on the certificate can only be sought till 5 years from the date of announcement of results.
The Court has held the embargo in the bye-laws for name change post declaration of results to be unreasonable. It issues a set of guidelines for recording correction and changes in CBSE certificates observing, “name is an intrinsic element of identity".