NTA to Seek Supreme Court Intervention in NEET-UG Controversy

Mainstream
13-Jun-2024
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The National Testing Agency (NTA) has decided to seek the Supreme Court's intervention to consolidate all matters related to the NEET-UG 2024 controversy. Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that the NTA will file a transfer petition to prevent conflicting rulings from various High Courts.


Appearing before a vacation bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, SG Mehta outlined the three primary categories of petitions: alleged paper leaks, award of grace marks, and claims of multiple correct options for a single question. Mehta emphasized the need for a unified approach, stating, "To ensure that there are no conflicting views by the High Courts, the NTA will request the Supreme Court to hear all such matters."


The High Court took Mehta’s submissions on record and issued a notice to the NTA. The petitioners requested that the matter be listed for a July hearing, indicating they would seek Supreme Court intervention if the NTA did not proceed with the transfer petition. The High Court agreed, scheduling the next hearing for July 5.


The controversy intensified following the Supreme Court's June 11 order, which directed the NTA to respond to allegations of a NEET-UG paper leak. Although the Supreme Court allowed counseling for medical college admissions to continue, it underscored the need for answers, with Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah noting, “The sanctity has been affected, so we need answers."


Allegations of irregularities surfaced after the NEET-UG results were announced on June 4, with an unprecedented 67 candidates achieving the top rank, including six from a single center in Haryana. Concerns were raised about the allocation of grace marks, leading to widespread discontent.


Political parties have also voiced their concerns. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe, while Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and KC Venugopal, alleged paper leaks and corruption. Priyanka Gandhi expressed her frustration on Twitter, stating, "Lakhs of children prepare hard for exams like NEET and spend the most precious moments of their lives preparing for it. The whole family puts their faith and strength in this effort. But year after year, paper leaks and irregularities related to results have been reported in these exams."


In response to these concerns, the NTA formed a four-member committee to review the results of 1,563 candidates from specific centers in Meghalaya, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and Chandigarh. Subodh Kumar Singh, Director General of the NTA, stated, “A high-powered committee has been set up to review the results of over 1,563 candidates. The four-member panel headed by a former UPSC chairman will submit its recommendations within a week and the results of these candidates might be revised.”


Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer