NEET-UG 2024 Exam Controversy: Petition on OMR Sheet Manipulation Adjourned by Supreme Court

Mainstream
25-Jun-2024
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A petition alleging the involvement of National Testing Agency (NTA) officers in manipulating OMR sheets for the NEET-UG 2024 exam was brought before the Supreme Court. The Vacation Bench of Justices Manoj Misra and S.V.N. Bhatti adjourned the hearing to next week, instructing the petitioner to withdraw a similar petition filed before the High Court.


At the beginning of the proceedings, NTA's counsel highlighted the existence of a similar writ petition at the High Court. Advocate Ravi Kumar, representing the petitioner, acknowledged that while the High Court was approached, it refused to hear the case, citing the Supreme Court's ongoing deliberation on NEET matters. He further stated the petitioner would not pursue the High Court case, emphasizing that the current petition involves distinct facts and allegations, particularly the claim of OMR sheet manipulation by NTA officers since 2020.


The Court, however, maintained that the petitioner must first withdraw the pending High Court petition and provide time to file an affidavit explaining the objection. The order stated:

 

"The learned counsel for the respondent has taken a preliminary objection regarding the maintainability…on the ground that the petitioner has already approached the High Court with the same prayer. Learned counsel for the petitioner prayed for time to file an affidavit explaining the said objection. As prayed, list on next week…"


This petition is part of a series of legal actions challenging the NEET-UG 2024 Examination conducted by NTA on May 5, 2024. Petitioners have raised concerns over alleged paper leaks, the awarding of grace marks for lost time, and other irregularities during the exam.


Previously, the Supreme Court declined to defer the counseling and seat allotment process, scheduled to begin on July 6. However, it was noted that admissions would be contingent on the final outcome of these petitions, meaning if the exams were invalidated, the counseling process would also be affected.


The Court had also voiced concerns over the alleged discrepancies in the NEET-UG 2024 exam, underscoring the need for meticulous scrutiny given the significant effort candidates invest in this prestigious examination.


In a related move, the Central Government has handed over the investigation of alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG 2024 exam to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). An official press release from the Ministry of Education on June 22 acknowledged reports of "alleged irregularities/cheating/impersonation" related to the May 5 exam.


Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer