NEET-UG exam row: Supreme Court seeks response in two weeks from Centre, NTA, others on CBI probe into 'irregularities'

The top court said that the plea seeking CBI probe into allegations of malpractices in NEET-UG 2024 would be taken up on July 8.
Last Updated : 14 June 2024, 07:22 IST

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Union government on a plea for seeking CBI probe into alleged paper leaks in the NEET-UG, 2024.

A bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta sought a response also from the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducted the examination on May 5 for admission to undergraduate courses in medical colleges across the country, on a petition filed by Hiten Singh Kashyap.

The court asked the NTA to file its response within two weeks and fixed the matter for consideration on July 8.

As one of the counsels contended over 40 students died by suicide in Kota, the bench asked him not to make unnecessary emotional arguments as such incidents are not related to NEET-UG results.

One of the petitioners' counsel insisted for CBI probe, the bench said it can't be ordered ex parte and the plea would be considered on filing of response by the NTA.

Another counsel submitted that it is a question about future of 24 lakh students. To this, the bench said it was conscious of it and fixed the matter for consideration in July.

In a related development, the court also decided to examine a plea by the National Testing Agency for transfer of petitions pending in various high courts to the apex court with regard to NEET-UG 2024 which is marred by allegations of paper leakage and other malpractices.

The court issued notice to those who filed their respective pleas in Delhi, Calcutta, Chhattisgarh and other high courts and scheduled the matter for consideration on July 8.

A counsel raised the issue of paper leakage in Bihar and registration of FIR and sought a direction from the court to suspend the counselling set to begin from July 6.

The court, however, declined the plea, saying it had earlier too rejected such a request.

During the hearing, the bench allowed the NTA to withdraw the plea, which questioned award of grace marks with the apex court's June 13 order approving a fresh test for those 1563 candidates.

A counsel, however, contended that the NTA obtained the apex court's order on Thursday by concealing vital facts.

On June 13, the Supreme Court had approved a request by the Union government to withdraw compensatory or grace marks allotted to 1563 candidates of NEET-UG 2024 for time loss and hold an optional re-test for them on June 23 and declare the result on June 30.

Several aspirants of the medical entrance exam NEET have alleged inflation of marks, which led to a record 67 candidates bagging the top rank, including six from the same exam centre.

The National Testing Agency, however, denied any irregularities and said the changes made in the NCERT textbooks and grace marks for losing time at the examination centres are some of the reasons behind the students scoring higher marks.

Published 14 June 2024, 07:22 IST

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