NEET-UG: SC to hear after two weeks plea alleging OMR sheet manipulation

Petitioner's counsel says several other petitions alleging irregularities and seeking cancellation of NEET-UG 2024 are pending before SC

The Supreme Court of India (photo: National Herald archives)
The Supreme Court of India (photo: National Herald archives)


The Supreme Court on Monday, 1 July, posted for hearing after two weeks a plea alleging OMR sheet manipulation in the controversy-ridden NEET-UG 2024.

The plea came up for hearing before a vacation bench of Justice CT Ravikumar and justice Manoj Misra.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner, who had taken the medical entrance exam, alleged that his OMR sheet was swapped.

The bench told the counsel that the petitioner was seeking permission to appear in the retest that was held on 23 June.

"The exam (re-test) is over on 23 June," the bench said.

The petitioner's counsel said several other petitions alleging irregularities and also seeking cancellation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 were pending before the apex court.

The bench initially said it would list the plea for hearing next week.

"If you are fortunate, then you will have some order in the other matter," it said.

The counsel appearing for the National Testing Agency (NTA) urged the bench that the plea be listed for hearing after two weeks.

The apex court posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

While hearing a separate petition on 27 June, the top court had asked the NTA to apprise it of whether there was any time limit for raising grievances regarding the OMR sheets provided to the candidates who appeared in NEET-UG, 2024.

The other pending petitions related to the exam are scheduled to come up for hearing in the apex court on 8 July.

On 20 June, the top court had sought responses from the Centre, the NTA and others on a slew of petitions, including those seeking scrapping of NEET-UG, 2024, and a court-monitored probe, amid mounting outrage over alleged irregularities in conducting the all-India medical entrance test.

While hearing separate pleas on the exam, the apex court had on 18 June said that even if there was "0.001 per cent negligence" on the part of anyone in the conduct of the examination, it should be thoroughly dealt with.

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.

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

They were given the option to either take a retest or forgo the compensatory marks awarded for loss of time.

The NTA on Monday announced the revised rank list after issuing the result of the retest, which was held on 23 June.

NEET-UG, 2024, was held on 5 May across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for it.

Initially expected on 14 June, the results were announced on 4 June due to early completion of answer sheet evaluations.

The allegations of irregularities, including paper leaks, have led to protests in several cities and sparring between rival political parties.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA's history, with six from a centre in Haryana figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

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