NEET-UG row: SC allows NTA to hold re-test for 1563 candidates awarded grace marks in NEET UG, 2024

The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a decision has been made to cancel the scorecards of 1563 candidates of NEET-UG 2024 who were given grace marks, with the candidates being given the option of appearing for a re-test.
Last Updated : 13 June 2024, 05:33 IST

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NEW DELHI: The Union government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a decision has been taken 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.

A bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta allowed the National Testing Agency to conduct such a re-test for 1563 candidates only, so that the counselling for admission to undergraduate courses in medical colleges across the country, scheduled to begin from July 6, does not get affected.

The court found the stand taken by the NTA as fair, reasonable and justified.

The court disposed of a petition filed by Alakh Pandey raising question over awarding of grace or compensatory marks to 1563 candidates.

The bench, however, issued notice to the NTA on other petitions seeking re examination of NEET UG 2024 previously held on May 5 due to paper leakage and other malpractices.

Advocate Kanu Aggarwal, appearing for the Centre, submitted a decision has been taken on the basis of a recommendation of a committee to hold re test for 1563 candidates. Such candidates would be provided score seats without the grace or compensatory marks and they would be given an option to appear in re examination. If they appeared in re examination, their previous score card would stand discarded.

The grace marks were allotted to 1563 students as they were not

allowed to utilise full 3 hours and 20 minutes time. The compensatory marks were awarded on the basis of recommendations of the Grievance Redressal Committee formed by the NTA, relying upon a Supreme Court judgment of 2018.

However, as controversy erupted a subsequent committee was formed to reconsider the award of compensatory marks.

According to the said recommendations, it has been suggested that the score cards of the affected 1563 candidates issued on June 4, 2024 will stand cancelled and withdrawn. These affected 1563 candidates will be informed about their actual scores without compensatory marks. Further re-test will be conducted for the affected 1563 candidates. The result of those affected 1563 candidates who do not wish to appear for the re-test will be declared based on their actual marks (without adding compensatory marks) obtained by them in the test held on May 5, 2024 and the marks obtained by the candidates who appear in the re-test will be considered and their marks obtained in the test held on May 5, 2024 will be discarded.

Senior advocate Naresh Kaushik for the NTA, which conducted May 5 NEET UG, said that the date for re-test would be notified on Thursday itself.

"Having considered the submissions and the material placed on record, this court finds that the recommendations made by the Committee on 12th June, 2024 after deliberations held on 10th, 11th and 12th June, 2024, are fair, reasonable and justified. Accordingly, the respondent NTA may proceed for holding the re-test," the bench said in its order.

The plea questioned the validity of award of compensatory marks using a normalisation formula.

The Supreme Court had earlier issued notice to the Centre and the NTA on other petitions for recalling the results and holding the examination afresh and fixed the matter for hearing on July 8.

The NEET UG, 2024 held on May 5 for admission to medical colleges across the country is marred by allegations of paper leakage and malpractices. The results of the examination was declared on June 4.

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 13 June 2024, 05:33 IST

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