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Feb 12, 2018 09:10 PM IST | Source: PTI

HC pained over circulation of social media posts without responsibility

The Delhi High Court today expressed anguish over the manner in which posts were being circulated on social media "without any sense of responsibility" and authenticity of its source.

The Delhi High Court today expressed anguish over the manner in which posts were being circulated on social media "without any sense of responsibility" and authenticity of its source.

The issue cropped up in a matter where several students were shown to have passed an examination by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in posts circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp, while the result published on the institute's website showed that they all had failed.

Twenty three students approached the court challenging the results and prayed for summoning of records of the institute including tabulations in the codified and de- codified form, based on which the result of the November 2017 examination was sent to their regional council and branches.

The court dismissed the petition saying it was devoid of merits. However, the court observed that it was unfortunate that hopes of various students were shattered due to the social media posts showing wrong results.

"Before I conclude, I must express my anguish at the manner in which the WhatsApp and Facebook posts are being circulated without any sense of responsibility.

"No doubt, hopes of some students have been shattered... while the court can only express its concern over the manner in which communications are circulated on WhatsApp/Facebook without any authenticity of the source thereof, the legal position does not in any manner support the petitioners," Justice Rekha Palli said.

The students were, admittedly, found unsuccessful as per the official results declared by the respondent (institute), the judge said

The court noted that the students had not challenged the manner of marking in the examination and the only ground raised by them was that perhaps they were initially granted more grade marks which were then subsequently reduced.

"This unfortunately cannot be a ground to interfere with the final results published by the institute on its websites," the court said.

The students claimed that on January 17 this year, through messages on social media platform, they learnt that "notifications" declaring the result of the examination had been circulated by the institute to its centres, branches and members. According to that, they all had passed the exam.

While annexing the copy of the screenshots obtained from the social media, they admitted that they were not sure about the authenticity and correctness of the e-mail and have got it from the facebook.

The students said when they logged on to the website of the institute to obtain their mark-sheets, they were shocked to see that they were shown to have failed in their respective groups even though as per the "notification" being circulated on social media, they had all passed.

The institute's counsel argued that the petition was wholly misconceived and liable to be dismissed and the result published on its website showed no changes at any time.

He said that the so-called "notification" on which reliance was sought by the students' counsel was not a notification and they themselves were not sure about the authenticity of the mails obtained via social media.
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