New Delhi, Sep 5: The Supreme Court has ruled that a School Examination Board is not a service provider and the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act are not applicable to such a statutory body.
A bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and Markandey Katju while allowing the appeal of Bihar School Examination Board said ''The board is a statutory authority. The function of the board is to conduct school examination.
This statutory function involved holding periodical examination, evaluating the answer script, declaring the result and issuing certificate.
When the examination board conducts an examination in discharge of its statutory function, it does not offer its services to any candidate. Nor does a student who participates in the examination conducted by the board, hire or avails of any service from the board for a consideration.
On the other hand a candidate who participates in the examination conducted by the board is the person who has undergone a course of study and who request to test him as to whether he has imbibed sufficient knowledge to be fit to be declared as having successfully completed the said course of education; and if so, determine his position or rank or competence vis-à-vis other examinees.
The process is not therefore availment of the service by a student.'' Justice Katju, while writing 14-page judgment for the bench, further noted, ''The board is not carrying on any commercial, professional or service oriented activity. No benefit is conferred nor any facility provided by the board for any consideration.''
The apex court set aside the order of National Consumer Commission dated October 24, 2002 upholding the order of the District Consumer Forum of awarding a compensation of Rs.12,000/- to the petitioner Suresh Prasad Sinha the result of whose minor son Rajesh Kumar was not declared by the board for one year and he had to reappear again in the examination next year.
Read FULL Judgment at: http://indiankanoon.org/doc/615635/