SC defers hearing of plea alleging OMR sheet manipulation in NEET-UG after two weeks

The top court asked the petitioner how the order be passed on the petition when the examination is already over.
Though the court initially inclined to list it for hearing next week, but later fixed it after two weeks.
Though the court initially inclined to list it for hearing next week, but later fixed it after two weeks.(File Photo)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned for hearing after two weeks a plea alleging OMR sheet manipulation in the NEET-UG, 2024 examination that saw alleged irregularities, malpractices and paper leak.

A two-judge vacation bench of the top court, led by Justice CT Ravikumar and Justice Manoj Misra, while refusing to pass any order, deferred the hearing after two weeks.

The top court asked the petitioner how the order be passed on the petition when the examination is already over. At the same time, it made it clear that if a re-test is ordered, then there could be a different issue.

The lawyer for the petitioner, Sabareesh Rajan, who had taken the medical entrance exam, alleged that his OMR sheet was swapped. He, however, sought a deferment to the case next week.

Although, the court initially inclined to list it for hearing next week, but later fixed it after two weeks, as the lawyer for the National Testing Agency (NTA) sought deferment for two weeks, to which, the top court allowed the agency's plea.

The petitioner said that he was the topper of these exams. “Respondents had the audacity to swap my OMRs. Already the copy has been given to them,” he said.

Though the court initially inclined to list it for hearing next week, but later fixed it after two weeks.
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In a similar development, five NEET-UG candidates approached the Supreme Court against re-NEET. The petitioners opposed the cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 test, instead of re-exam. They proposed a re-evaluation of all OMR sheets to address complaints of rank inflation and tampering.

Rajan had moved the apex court seeking its direction for judicial intervention into the alleged paper leak, award of grace marks against the time loss, and irregularities that occurred during the conduct of the NEET-UG Examination.

Students and many educational institutions across India had moved the Supreme Court and various State High Courts after the prestigious NEET-UG examination mired into alleged paper leak, irregularities, malpractices and others seeking various directions and orders to NTA.

A petition was also filed, by a group of 10 students who had appeared for the exam, in the top court seeking directions to the CBI and the ED to investigate the alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam NEET-UG held on May 5.

On June 22, the Supreme Court refused to defer the counselling date of the NEET-UG 2024 examination, which is to kickstart on July 6, after noting that it is not an "open and shut" process. It said so, after hearing a batch of pleas.

The apex court also had earlier issued notices to the NTA, Centre and others and sought their respective replies after hearing the petitions seeking cancellation of the exam over the alleged irregularities in the exam. 

Though the court initially inclined to list it for hearing next week, but later fixed it after two weeks.
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The top court, in another development, stayed the proceedings on the batch of pleas filed before various State High Courts in the same issue, after hearing the plea filed by the NTA and issued notice on the agency's plea in connection with this year's National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) exam.

All the pleas had been tagged along with the pending pleas already filed before it for further hearing to July 8, when the Supreme Court would be open, over almost 45 days off, after summer vacations.

There are more than 50 petitions, including a fresh petition filed by a group of 20 students, who had appeared in the medical entrance exam, in the Supreme Court, seeking a direction for scrapping of the NEET-UG 2024 exam and an apex court-monitored probe by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or any other independent agency into the alleged irregularities in the test held on May 5.

Recently, the NTA had told the apex court that score-cards of 1563 candidates who "got grace marks" in the NEET-UG 2024, will be cancelled and the students will have the option to reappear for the exam.

The NTA had also further elaborated to the apex court that a committee has been constituted to review the results of over these 1,563 candidates who were awarded “grace marks” to compensate for the loss of time suffered while appearing for the exam.

It is to ne noted that NEET-UG examination, conducted by NTA, and is the process for getting admitted into MBBS, BDS and AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

Though the court initially inclined to list it for hearing next week, but later fixed it after two weeks.
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