NEET-UG row: Supreme Court refuses to defer counselling; 1,563 students to take exam again on Sunday

The bench, which refused to defer the counselling process, said that counsel appearing for the NTA, the Centre and other respondents may file their response to the plea within two weeks.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 06:50 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to stay the re-test of NEET UG 2024, to be conducted by the National Testing Agency for 1,563 candidates or postpone the counselling, for various medical courses, scheduled to commence from July 6.

While considering fresh petitions concerning the sanctity of all India examination for admission to undergraduate medical courses, a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and S V N Bhatti said that the petitioners’ should wait for the final outcome in the matter and if they were to win the case then the entire examination can be set aside.

A counsel for a petitioner asked the court to issue a direction to stay the re-test, claiming that the NTA had withheld material information from the court.

He contended that out of the 1,563 candidates, 753 had already failed. The counsel said the candidates would have to undergo stress if they would have to re-appear for the exam.

"Nothing will happen now. Everything can be set aside. When there is a chance of setting aside the May 5 main examination, where is this question of (re-test for) 1,563 candidates," the bench asked.

The NTA withdrew compensatory and grace marks awarded to 1563 candidates and gave them an option to appear for re-test on June 23.

The court had already fixed various NEET-related petitions for hearing on July 8.

The counsel said that the candidates, allowed the re-test, are getting a second shot at the examination, which was unjust and unreasonable against the backdrop that there are qualified candidates who would like to reappear.

The bench, however, said asked the arguments that some candidates who have failed are being allowed to take the re-test and those who are going to appear in the second examination are under stress, were completely contradictory.

Another counsel asked the court to put on hold the counselling for two days as the court would consider the matter on July 8.

On this, the bench said, "Counselling is not open and shut. It is a process".

The bench further said during the counselling, the candidates have options to amend, modify, or whatever they want to do and after they freeze, then only it proceeds to the next stage. The court explained it is not allowing time to be either lost by the petitioners' or the authorities concerned.

On a counsel claiming that a petitioner with a rare medical condition did not get sufficient time for the examination, the bench asked the NTA to take a decision on his representation for a re-test.

Published 21 June 2024, 06:50 IST

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