NEET-UG 2024 Row: Re-Evaluate OMR Sheets instead of Re-NEET

The Supreme Court on Monday (01 July) posted for hearing after two weeks a plea alleging OMR sheet manipulation in the controversy-ridden NEET-UG, 2024.
NEET-UG 2024 Row: Re-Evaluate OMR Sheets instead of Re-NEET

The Supreme Court on Monday (01 July) posted for hearing after two weeks a plea alleging OMR sheet manipulation in the controversy-ridden NEET-UG, 2024.The plea came up for hearing before a vacation bench of Justice CT Ravikumar and Justice Manoj Misra.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner, who had taken the medical entrance exam, alleged that his OMR sheet was swapped. The bench told the counsel that the petitioner was seeking permission to appear in the retest that was held on June 23.

"The exam (re-test) is over on June 23," the bench said. The petitioner's counsel said several other petitions alleging irregularities and also seeking cancellation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG), 2024, were pending before the apex court.

The bench initially said it would list the plea for hearing next week. "If you are fortunate, then you will have some order in the other matter," it said.

The counsel appearing for the National Testing Agency (NTA) urged the bench that the plea be listed for hearing after two weeks. The apex court posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

While hearing a separate petition on June 27, the top court had asked the NTA to appraise it of whether there was any time limit for raising grievances regarding the OMR sheets provided to the candidates who appeared in NEET-UG, 2024.

Petition Seeking Re-Evaluation of All OMR Sheets:

In another development pertaining to the NEET-UG 2024 controversy, a writ petition has been filed stating that cancellation of this examination will be an “arbitrary decision” and will violate their fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioners, also the candidates who appeared in the examination this year, have averred that cancellation of the exam will amount to “severe injustice” and will have serious repercussions on the candidates who have worked hard for the examination. Further, such cancellation will severely cause prejudice to deserving candidates while benefiting only few.

In view of this, the petitioners, represented through advocate Tanvi Dubey, have suggested a re-evaluation instead of conducting a re-NEET. To strengthen this, it has been submitted that revaluation can address issues such as rank inflation and a substantial increase in the number of toppers.

Other Petitions to Come Up for Hearing on 08 July:

The other pending petitions related to the exam are scheduled to come up for hearing in the apex court on July 8.

On June 20, the top court had sought responses from the Centre, the NTA and others on a slew of petitions, including those seeking scrapping of NEET-UG, 2024, and a court-monitored probe, amid mounting outrage over alleged irregularities in conducting the all-India medical entrance test.

While hearing separate pleas on the exam, the apex court had on June 18 said even if there was "0.001 percent negligence" on the part of anyone in the conduct of the examination, it should be thoroughly dealt with.

Revised Rank Cards Released by NTA: 

The NTA on Monday (July 01) announced the revised rank list after issuing the result of the retest, which was held on June 23. NEET-UG, 2024, was held on May 5 across 4,750 centers and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for it.

Initially expected on June 14, the results were announced on June 4 due to early completion of answer sheet evaluations.

NEET-UG 2024 Controversy:

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

The allegations of irregularities, including paper leaks, have led to protests in several cities and sparring between rival political parties.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA's history, with six from a center in Haryana figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

The Centre and the NTA had on June 13 told the top court that they had cancelled the grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates. They were given the option to either take a retest or forgo the compensatory marks awarded for loss of time.