Sanctity of NEET-UG has been affected, we need answers: Supreme Court | India News – Times of India

Sanctity of NEET-UG has been affected, we need answers: Supreme Court | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Holding prima facie view that sanctity of NEET-UG 2024 has been compromised, Supreme Court on Tuesday sought explanation from National Testing Agency (NTA) on alleged irregularities in conducting the test, including on paper leak allegations.
“Sanctity of the exam has been affected and we need answers,” a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah told NTA’s lawyer at the outset of hearing.It however, turned down the plea to stay the counselling process.
As the bench was convinced that the issue raised by 10 medical aspirants in their petition needed to be examined, it passed the order and decided to bring NEET 2024 under its scanner after a very brief hearing where their lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara did not have to make an effort to convince the court. The court directed NTA to respond to the allegations and posted the hearing for July 8, the first day after summer recess. It asked the agency to file a response and hinted that it may stay counselling in case of a delay in filing its reply.
As Nedumpara pressed for stay on the counselling process for admission in medical colleges, the bench declined the plea.
Around 24 lakh students took the examination conducted by NTA on May 5. The entrance test was conducted across 4,750 centres in 571 cities, including 14 cities abroad. But reports of paper leak surfaced after the test and few arrests were also made. Controversy also cropped up on the way in which grace marks were “arbitrarily” given to a few students.

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Seeking quashing of exams due to paper leak, the petitioners said that four individuals, including two MBBS students, had been arrested for allegedly running a paper solver gang for NEET exam but the NTA was refuting the allegation of paper leak.
Grant of grace marks mala fide intention: Plea
“NTA has published its own circular/notification giving a clean chit to the alleged offenders in the paper leak case before the ongoing investigations of various agencies concerned is concluded in the backdrop of FIR registered by Shastri Nagar Police Station in Patna and investigation being further carried out by EOU Bihar Police,” the petition said, pleading the court to intervene.
Raising the issue of grant of grace marks, advocate J Sai Deepak told the court that a fresh petition has been filed and the court should also examine the controversy along with allegation of paper leak but the bench said that it was for SC registry to take a call on listing of the case.
The petitioners alleged arbitrariness in the grant of grace marks and contended that high marks of 718 & 719 out of 720 secured by several students were “statistically impossible”.
It said that the grant of grace marks due to delay during the exam, was a mala fide exercise to give “backdoor entry” to certain students and questioned how 67 students from one particular centre got full 720 marks.

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