Over 50 successful NEET-UG candidates move SC for direction against any attempt to cancel exam, ET HealthWorld

Over 50 successful NEET-UG candidates move SC for direction against any attempt to cancel exam, ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: More than 50 successful NEET-UG candidates from Gujarat, many of whom have secured first rank, have moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre and the National Testing Agency to stop the cancellation of the controversial exam. They have also sought a direction from the apex court to the Union Education Ministry to investigate, identify and take strict action against students and others involved in unfair practices such as paper leak and impersonation in the NEET-UG exam held on May 5 this year.

The fresh plea by 56 students comes just days after the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud is scheduled to hear 26 petitions seeking reliefs such as re-examination and probe into the conduct of the exam marred by allegations of malpractice.

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admission to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country. NEET-UG, 2024 was held on May 5 at 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for the exam.

Allegations of irregularities, including paper leaks, led to protests in several cities and debates between rival political parties.

The petitions seeking cancellation of the exam, re-examination and a high-level inquiry are listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on July 8.

The fresh petition by Siddharth Komal Singla and 55 other students was filed through advocate Devendra Singh.

It said, “The Hon'ble Court may direct the respondents (Centre and NTA) not to conduct NEET-UG again… as it would not only be unfair and harsh on honest and hardworking students but would also be violative of the right to education and hence violative of Article 14 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution of India.”

The petition has sought directions to the Centre and the NTA to identify and penalise examinees who have resorted to unfair means, identify centres and take appropriate action where “there has been any compromise with the guidelines established for the NEET-UG 2024 examinations.”

The petitioners are young students aged about 17-18 years and to realise their dream of becoming doctors, they have given their 100 per cent and passed the examination after consistent hard work for more than 3-4 years.

However, the constant coverage of news about the cancellation of exams and the possibility of re-examination for all is creating mental pressure and unnecessary stress.

It said that if re-examination is held as a result of the publicity generated due to misleading coverage by the media, honest successful students will face difficulties.

The petition states that main petitioner Singla has secured 778th rank in the merit list of NEET-UG 2024. “He has always been an excellent student, having topped his school with 96.60% marks in class 12th. It is further stated that among the other co-petitioners there are students who have also secured first rank…”, it said.

On June 11, while hearing a plea seeking re-conduct of the exam on the grounds of alleged question paper leak and other irregularities, the apex court had observed that the sanctity of NEET-UG has been affected and sought response of the Centre and NTA on the plea. It, however, refused to stay the counselling of successful candidates.

The Centre and the NTA had told the court on June 13 that they had cancelled the grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates. They were given the option of either taking the exam again or forgoing the compensation marks awarded for loss of time.

The NTA announced the revised rank list on Monday after releasing the results of the re-exam held on June 23.

A total of 67 students had scored a perfect 720 marks, unprecedented in the history of the NTA, with six students from a Haryana centre also featuring in the list, raising suspicion of irregularities in the exam held on May 5. It has been alleged that the 67 students shared the top rank due to grace marks.

The number of candidates sharing the top rank in NEET-UG declined from 67 to 61 in the revised results declared by the NTA.

  • Published: July 4, 2024, 05:00 PM IST

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