“Zero Tolerance": Supreme Court Demands Action Over NEET Paper Leak


In a stern directive, the Supreme Court on Tuesday emphasized the need for stringent action against any individual involved in the alleged paper leak of this year's National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The court's vacation bench, comprising Justices Vikram Nath and SVN Bhatti, underscored the importance of addressing even the slightest negligence.

"Even if there is 0.001% negligence on the part of anyone, it should be thoroughly dealt with," remarked Justice Nath, highlighting the court's expectation for timely and fair action from the National Testing Agency (NTA). The bench insisted that the NTA must ensure all candidates are treated equitably. "If there is a mistake, say yes, this is a mistake, and this is the action we are going to take. At least that inspires confidence in your performance," the court asserted.

Highlighting the dedication of students who study hard for the test, the bench expressed concern over the broader implications of fraud in the system. "Imagine a person who has played fraud on the system becomes a doctor; he is more deleterious to the society," noted the bench, emphasizing the gravity of the issue.

During the resumed hearing, the Centre advised against forming opinions on the allegations until a formal response is submitted. The case is scheduled for further hearing on July 8.

At the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had issued a notice on a plea seeking a CBI probe into the alleged instances of paper leak and malpractices during the NEET exam held on May 5. The bench had directed the NTA to respond within two weeks while acknowledging the significant impact on the future of 24 lakh students.

In a recent development, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it had decided to scrap the scorecards of 1,563 candidates who were awarded grace marks for a wrong question in the test. These candidates will be given the opportunity to retake the exam. If any of them opt out of the re-test, their earlier score, minus the grace marks, will be considered.

This decision aims to ensure fairness for those who received less than the allotted time to complete the NEET-UG 2024 test. These candidates now have the option to either retake the exam or forgo the grace marks.

The Supreme Court's firm stance reflects its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the NEET examination process and ensuring that all candidates are treated justly. The outcome of the resumed hearing on July 8 will be crucial in determining the next steps in addressing the allegations of paper leaks and ensuring the credibility of the examination system.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer