SC Issues Notices on NTA’s Plea to Transfer NEET-UG Disputes from High Courts

The Supreme Court, on a recent Friday, intervened in the ongoing NEET-UG examination dispute by issuing notices to various private entities. This action follows a request from the National Testing Agency (NTA) to transfer all related cases, currently heard in different high courts, to the apex court to streamline proceedings and prevent the multiplicity of legal actions.

During the proceedings, a vacation bench composed of Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta responded to the NTA’s counsel, who highlighted the urgent need for a consolidated hearing due to numerous lawsuits pending across the nation. These lawsuits challenge the integrity of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test–Under Graduate (NEET-UG) 2024, primarily on allegations of a question paper leak and other examination malpractices. The court has scheduled these matters for a hearing on July 8.

In a related development, the NTA also sought to withdraw three petitions aimed at transferring cases from various high courts concerning the granting of grace marks to 1,563 candidates who suffered from time loss during the examination held on May 5. The NTA’s counsel stated that this matter has reached a resolution, following the Supreme Court’s decision on June 13 to cancel the compensatory marks previously awarded.

Amidst widespread controversy, the Centre and NTA informed the Supreme Court just a day before, on Thursday, that the awarded grace marks had been annulled. Affected candidates are now presented with the choice to either re-sit the examination or forego the compensatory marks.

This year’s NEET-UG, which took place at 4,750 centers with about 24 million participants, was expected to announce results on June 14. However, the results were unexpectedly released ten days early, on June 4, purportedly due to the swift completion of answer sheet evaluations. This premature announcement has fueled further dissent among the student community, leading to nationwide protests, including a significant demonstration in Delhi on June 10 demanding an in-depth investigation into the alleged irregularities.

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Further stirring the pot, a record number of 67 students achieved a perfect score of 720, an unprecedented event in the history of the NTA. Notably, six of these top scorers were from a single center in Faridabad, Haryana, intensifying suspicions of misconduct.

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