If Sanctity Of Exam Is Lost, Re-test Has To Be Ordered: SC On NEET-UG 2024 - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, July 11, 2024

If sanctity of exam is lost, re-test has to be ordered: SC on NEET-UG 2024

By PTI Updated: Jul 08, 2024 4:13 pm

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court said Monday that if the sanctity of the medical entrance exam NEET-UG 2024 is “lost” and if the leak of its question paper has been propagated through social media, then a re-test has to be ordered.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud also said if the question paper leak was taking place through Telegram, WhatsApp and electronic means, then “it spreads like wildfire”.

“One thing is clear that leak of question paper has taken place,” the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, said.

“If the sanctity of the exam is lost, then a re-test has to be ordered. If we are unable to identify those who are guilty, then a re-test has to be ordered,” the bench observed, adding that if the leak was propagated through social media, then a re-test has to be ordered.

“Let us not be in self-denial about what happened,” it said, adding, “Assuming that the government does not cancel the exam, what will it do to identify the beneficiaries of the question paper leak?”

The apex court was hearing more than 30 pleas related to the controversy-ridden NEET-UG 2024, including those alleging irregularities and malpractices in the May 5 test and seeking a direction to conduct it afresh.

Members of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) stage a protest against the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG examination results, in Kolkata on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

“There is no question that leak of question paper has taken place. We are determining the extent of the leak,” the bench observed.

It said there were certain “red flags” as 67 candidates had scored 720 out of 720.

“In the previous years, the proportion was very low,” the bench added.

The top court said it wanted to know how many people benefited from the question paper leak and what actions were taken against them by the Centre.

“Results of how many wrongdoers have been withheld, and we want to know the geographical distribution of such beneficiaries,” it asked.

The bench is also hearing a separate plea of over 50 successful Gujarat-based NEET-UG candidates seeking a direction to restrain the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) from cancelling the controversy-ridden exam.

The lawyers representing a petitioner started the submissions, saying that they were seeking the cancellation of the exam on grounds such as paper leak, OMR sheet manipulation, impersonation and cheating.

The Centre and the NTA, which conducts NEET-UG, recently told the apex court through their affidavits that scrapping the exam would be “counterproductive” and “seriously jeopardise” lakhs of honest candidates in the absence of any proof of large-scale breach of confidentiality.

The NTA and the Union education ministry have been at the centre of media debates and protests by students and political parties over alleged large-scale malpractices ranging from question paper leaks to impersonation in the test held on May 5.

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country. Allegations of irregularities, including paper leaks, have led to protests in several cities and sparring between rival political parties.

The Centre and the NTA on June 13 told the court that they cancelled the grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates.

These candidates were given the option to either take a re-test or forgo the compensatory marks awarded for loss of time.

The NTA announced the revised rank list on July 1 after issuing the results of the re-test held on June 23.

A total of 67 students had scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA’s history, with six from a Haryana centre figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities in the examination. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to the 67 students sharing the top rank.

The number of candidates sharing the top rank in the NEET-UG was reduced to 61 from 67 as the NTA announced the revised results on July 1.

Also read: SC to hear on Monday batch of pleas related to controversy-ridden NEET-UG 2024

By PTI Updated: Jul 08, 2024 4:13:04 pm
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