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NEET-UG 2024: SC refuses to stay counselling, seeks NTA’s response, says ‘sanctity affected’

Seeking a reply from the NTA, the bench remarked, “It is not simply a matter of accepting what you (NTA) have done is sacrosanct. Sanctity has been affected, so we need answers.”

NEET-UG 2024: SC refuses to stay counselling, seeks NTA’s response, says ‘sanctity affected’

Photo: Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to put on hold the counselling process for NEET-UG 2024, which oversees admissions to medical colleges, and sought a response from the National Testing Agency (NTA) observing that “sanctity has been affected” amidst the allegations of paper leak and irregularities in awarding compensatory marks to students for loss of time in the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-UG 2024 (NEET-UG).

A vacation bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah issued notices and refused to stay the counselling process while hearing a batch of petitions that sought the cancellation of NEET-UG 2024 over the alleged paper leak and discrepancies in awarding compensatory marks to students for the loss of time during the examination.

Seeking a reply from the NTA, the bench remarked, “It is not simply a matter of accepting what you (NTA) have done is sacrosanct. Sanctity has been affected, so we need answers.”

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The allegations surrounding the conduct of NEET-UG 2024 include an alleged paper leak in Patna and instances of candidates receiving wrong question papers in Rajasthan. Questions have also been raised regarding a large number of candidates getting a perfect score as per the results published on June 4 – coinciding with the day the general election results were declared.

Posting the matter for July 8 for consideration, the vacation bench said, “In the meanwhile, the response (by the NTA) will be filed.”

As advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, appearing for the petitioner, said, “Let the counselling be stayed,” the bench said, “We are not staying the counselling.”

As Nedumpara persisted with the plea for a stay on counselling, the bench remarked, “We will not stop the counselling. If you argue further, we will dismiss this (petition).”

Apart from the Supreme Court, several High Courts, including the Delhi High Court and the Patna High Court, have also been moved regarding the conduct of NEET-UG 2024, raising concerns over alleged paper leaks and irregularities.

It may be recalled that on May 17, 2024, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, heading a bench comprising Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, refused to stay the publication of NEET-UG 20-24 results. However, the court has issued notice on the plea.

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