Supreme Court Seeks NTA’s Response Over NEET UG 2024 Controversy

The controversy stems from allegations that the NEET UG 2024 examination was compromised by a paper leak
The next hearing is set for July 8, when the court expects the NTA’s response. (Representational image: Wikimedia commons)
The next hearing is set for July 8, when the court expects the NTA’s response. (Representational image: Wikimedia commons)

The Supreme Court has demanded answers from the National Testing Agency (NTA) regarding the alleged paper leak and other malpractices surrounding the NEET UG 2024 examination. The petition, which calls for the exam's cancellation and a re-test, claims that these issues have compromised the integrity of the exam.

A vacation bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah addressed the matter, stating, “Sanctity has been affected, so we need answers.” Despite these concerns, the court refused to halt the ongoing counseling process for admissions in MBBS and other courses.

It is not that simple that because you have done it is sacrosanct. Sanctity has been affected, so we need answers. Let it start. We are not stopping the counseling.
Justice Vikram Nath, Supreme Court Judge

Advocate Mathews J. Nedumpara, representing the petitioners, requested a stay on the counseling process, but the bench decided against it, allowing counseling to proceed as scheduled. The next hearing is set for July 8, when the court expects the NTA’s response.

The controversy stems from allegations that the NEET UG 2024 examination was compromised by a paper leak, affecting the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution. This year’s exam saw more than 1,500 candidates receive grace marks, raising questions about the fairness and transparency of the results.

Advocate Mathews J. Nedumpara, representing the petitioners, requested a stay on the counseling process, but the bench decided against it. (Representational image: Pixabay)
Advocate Mathews J. Nedumpara, representing the petitioners, requested a stay on the counseling process, but the bench decided against it. (Representational image: Pixabay)

The issue gained further traction with the involvement of high-profile opposition leaders Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who have criticized the Modi government for the irregularities. The education ministry has since established a four-member panel to review the grace marks awarded to over 1,500 candidates.

Alakh Pandey, CEO of the educational platform Physics Wallah, also filed a petition challenging the arbitrary awarding of grace marks, supported by signatures from about 20,000 students. This petition claims that grace marks were distributed randomly, disadvantaging many candidates who attempted the exam honestly.

Reports of a paper leak from Rajasthan, incorrect question papers in Hindi distributed in English, and damaged OMR sheets further fueled the controversy. A case has been filed in Patna over the alleged leak, leading to several arrests.

The NTA has denied allegations of a paper leak and explained that the high scores, including 67 candidates achieving full marks, resulted from a revision in the Physics answer key and the grace marks policy. The agency's justification has not quelled concerns, as multiple petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court and high courts in Delhi and Calcutta.

(Input from various sources)

(Rehash/ Susmita Bhandary/MSM)

The next hearing is set for July 8, when the court expects the NTA’s response. (Representational image: Wikimedia commons)
NEET 2024 Results Spark Controversy: Claims of Tampered OMR Sheets
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