Thursday, June 13, 2024

“Sanctity of NEET-UG 2024 affected, we need answers”: Supreme Court seeks NTA’s response on plea to cancel exam

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Union government and the National Testing Agency (NTA) on a petition seeking the cancellation of the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) exam held this year for the UG Medical courses over an alleged paper leak.

“It is not that simple that because you have done it is sacrosanct. Sanctity has been affected, so we need answers,” Justice Amanullah told the counsel representing the National Testing Agency. “How much time you want? Immediately on the re-opening? Otherwise, the counselling will start.” Justice Amanullah told the NTA’s counsel, Live Law reported.

The top court posted the matter on 8 July seeking a response from the NTA.

The petition was filed by Shivangi Mishra and nine others on 1 June before the declaration of the results. After the declaration of the results, few more petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the NTA to award grace marks to several candidates. However, those petitions, which were filed after the declaration of results, were not listed today, Live Law reported.

NTA’s lawyer submitted that the petition be tagged along with an earlier petition on which notice was issued by a bench led by the Chief Justice of India on 17 May. That petition is listed on 8 July, he informed. The bench then posted the present petition along with the earlier petition which is listed on 8 July.

Advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, appearing for the petitioners, sought a stay of the counselling. However, the apex court refused to do so. “Let the counselling start, we are not stopping the counselling,” Justice Nath orally said, Live Law reported.

“Issue notice. In the meantime, the response will be filed by the National Testing Agency,” the top court observed in the order.

The writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution seeks to direct NTA to conduct the exam again given the allegations of the paper leak. Raising doubts about the sanctity of the exam held on 5 May, the petitioners seek the cancellation of the exam.

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