SC says sanctity of NEET affected, seeks testing agency’s response to alleged irregularities


The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the responses of the Centre and National Testing Agency to a petition alleging question paper leaks and other irregularities in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test, Live Law reported.

The petitioners have demanded that the exam, conducted on May 5, be cancelled and that the test be held again. The examination is conducted by the National Testing Agency for admission to undergraduate medical courses.

On Tuesday, Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah told the counsel representing the National Testing Agency: “Sanctity has been affected, so we need answers.”

A bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Amanullah, however, refused to stay the counselling process, through which authorities guide students on choosing colleges and universities, Bar and Bench reported. The court posted the matter for July 8.

On Saturday, the National Testing Agency said that it has set up a high-powered committee to look into the grievances of 1,600 students who appeared in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test.

The results of the entrance examination were announced on June 4. Subsequently, several aspirants alleged that an inflation of marks had led to 67 candidates securing the top rank, including six from the same examination centre.

Some reports also alleged that at some centres, the question paper was leaked before the examination.

The National Testing Agency denied the allegations, saying that a revision in the answer key of the physics paper, along with compensatory marks provided for the loss of writing time, led to 67 candidates securing the top rank.

On Saturday, the Director General of the National Testing Agency, Subodh Kumar Singh, addressed a press conference, during which he denied allegations of paper leaks and claimed that question papers were shared on social media around 4.30 pm, two hours after the examination had begun. “Integrity of examination was not compromised at all,” he claimed, according to The Hindu.

Singh said that concerns were raised in only six out of 4,750 exam centres. He said that authorities would look into concerns about compensatory marks and candidates who lost time on the examination day.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on June 7 criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government for failing to satisfactorily address allegations that the results of this year’s examination were rigged.

Vadra also questioned why the Centre had been “ignoring the voice of lakhs of students”.

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