NEET UG case: SC seeks report from Centre, NTA and CBI

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The apex court was hearing a batch of pleas seeking direction to recall NEET-UG 2024 results and to conduct the examination afresh…reports Asian Lite News

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) and Centre to file their affidavits with all the details and sought a status report from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on July 10 in the NEET UG exam.

The Supreme Court on Monday said that there is no doubt that the NEET-UG held on May 5 was compromised by a question paper leak and asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) to apprise it about the steps taken to identify the candidates who benefited from the paper leak.

The case will be heard next on July 11.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra also asked the NTA to inform them about the steps taken by it to identify the centres/cities where leaks of paper took place and the modalities followed to identify beneficiaries of the leak and how the leak was disseminated.

“The fact that the sanctity of the exam has been compromised is beyond doubt. It is an admitted fact that there is a leak and the nature of the leak is something that we are determining. If it is not extensive, then there is no cancellation. But before we order a retest, we must be conscious of the extent of the leak, as we are dealing with 23 lakh students,” said the bench.

“So what is the nature of the leak, how was the leak, the time, how was the leak disseminated, and what are the actions that the Centre and NTA have taken to identify the beneficiary students of the wrongdoing,” CJI Chandrachud said.

It asked the testing agency, NTA, when the paper leak first took place, the manner in which the question papers leaked were disseminated, and the time duration between the occurrence of the leak and the exam on May 5.

The apex court also sought a status report from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the probe it has made so far into the alleged paper leak and material that has come to light till date.

The top court asked the CBI to file a status report and the Centre and NTA their affidavits with all the details by 5 pm on July 10.

Alakh Pandey, petitioner in the NEET-UG 2024 exam case, said on Monday that the Chief Justice of India bench, in the hearing today, was convinced that the paper has been leaked and they want to determine to what extent it was leaked.

“The CJI bench was convinced of the fact that paper has been leaked…They want to determine to what extent the paper has been leaked. They have asked for the timeline related to; when is the paper prepared? Which committee prepared it? How is a paper prepared in two sets? How is paper circulated to centres? They wanted to see the chain of custody of the paper to determine the time of the paper leak,” Pandey said.

“The court wants to determine whether it (paper leak) was a systematic failure or whether it happened due to the malpractices of some individuals,” he added.

Advocate Shwetank told ANI that the questions posed by the Supreme Court have to be answered by the NTA and central government.

“The Supreme Court has raised some questions that have to be answered by the NTA and Union Government. The Supreme Court has asked them to provide the data within the next three days. How has the paper travelled? What time was it sent to the examination centre? What time was it distributed to the students? The Supreme Court observed that if segregation is possible, then re-examination is not mandatory,” he said.

The apex court was hearing a batch of pleas seeking direction to recall NEET-UG 2024 results and to conduct the examination afresh, alleging paper leakage and malpractices in the test held.

Aspirants had approached the top court and raised the issue of leakage of question paper, awarding compensatory marks and anomaly in the question of NEET-UG.

NEET-UG examination, conducted by NTA, is the pathway for admissions into MBBS, BDS and AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

The NEET-UG, 2024 was held across 4,750 centres on May 5 and around 24 lakh candidates appeared in it. (ANI)

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