Even 0.001% Negligence In NEET Needs Action, Admit If There Is Any Mistake: SC Tells Exam Body

Even 0.001% Negligence In NEET Needs Action, Admit If There Is Any Mistake: SC Tells Exam Body

Notwithstanding the denial of alleged leakage of NEET-UG 2024 paper at certain centre and the irregularities in the conduct of exam, Justice Bhatti further said, "Imagine a situation where a person who has played fraud on the system, becomes a doctor and starts treating patients, he is more deleterious towards society."

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 01:07 AM IST
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Supreme Court of India | File Photo

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that if there was 0.001 percent negligence in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024, the National Testing Agency (NTA) must come forward and admit it, as it (top court) issued notice in another set of petitions seeking re-conduct of the examination for admission to undergraduate medical courses - MBBS, BDS and AYUSH and other related medical courses in government and private institutions across the country.

Stating that “Even if there is 0.001% negligence (in the conduct of NEET-UG 2024) it should be looked into”, a vacation bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice S.V.N. Bhati told the National Testing Agency that “it should come forward and admit it” and “We expect timely action from you”. Justice Vikram Nath said, “We need timely action from you” – the Central government and the National Testing Agency.

“Even if there is 0.001% negligence on the part of anyone it should be thoroughly dealt with. All these matters ought not to be treated as adversarial litigation”, Justice Bhatti said as the bench tagged the present set of petitions with the earlier ones which are listed for hearing on July 8, 2024.

The court gave the Central government and the NTA two weeks’ time to respond to the fresh petitions.

Notwithstanding the denial of alleged leakage of NEET-UG 2024 paper at certain centre and the irregularities in the conduct of exam, Justice Bhatti further said, “Imagine a situation where a person who has played fraud on the system, becomes a doctor and starts treating patients, he is more deleterious towards society. “

The bench told counsels appearing for Centre and NTA that children have prepared for the exams and “we cannot forget their labour” for preparing for the exams

As the advocate appearing for one of the petitioners referred to the conversation with the advocates appearing for the Central government and the NTA outside the courtroom before the matter was called, Justice Bhati said, “Your (the NTA and the Central government) stance ought not to change the moment you enter the court, representing the Agency which is responsible for conducting the examination. You must come forward and admit mistake.”

Having said this, Justice Bhatti said that normally in the course of the hearing “we react” but during vacation “We react very slowly”.

The strong observations from the vacation bench came in the course if the nearing of another set of petitions by   - Amulya Vijaya Pinapati, Nitin Vijay and others - seeking the re-conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 in the wake of widespread allegations of pauper leak, irregularities and a large number of candidates getting perfect score in the result published on June 4, coinciding with the declaration of results of the general election to Lok Sabha.  

On June 13, the National Testing Agency had informed the Supreme Court that the score-cards of 1563 NEET-UG 2024 candidates who were given “grace marks” to compensate for the loss of time in commencing the paper will be cancelled, with an option to take re-test.

Giving the option of taking re-test to 1563 candidates, the NTA had said that those who choose to take re-test, their present score card would be cancelled and a new score, after the re-exam, will be issued and counted for admission to medical colleges.

The NTA had also said that those who choose not to take the retest, their original scores would remain but will not include the grace marks awarded to them earlier on account of the loss of time.

 The court was also informed that the National Testing Agency would hold the re-test for these 1563 students on June 23 and after the announcement of the results on June 30, the counselling for admission to medical colleges would begin from July 6 onwards.

The top court has made it clear that the counselling for the admissions of candidates to medical colleges that is to commence on July 6, will not be put on hold.

NEET-UG examination, conducted by NTA, is a precursor to admissions into MBBS, BDS and AYUSH and other related medical courses in government and private institutions across the country. A number of aggrieved candidates have approached the top court seeking investigation into the allegations of paper leak and other irregularities in the conduct of NEET-UG.

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