SC Issues Notices on NTA’s Plea to Transfer NEET-UG Cases from High Courts

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to private parties in response to the National Testing Agency’s (NTA) plea to transfer cases related to the NEET-UG row from various high courts to the top court. The move aims to avoid a multiplicity of litigation. A vacation bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta acknowledged the NTA’s counsel’s submission that several petitions, seeking the cancellation of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test–Under Graduate (NEET-UG) 2024 due to alleged question paper leaks and malpractices, are pending in multiple high courts. The bench issued a notice and scheduled the hearing for July 8.

In addition, the NTA expressed its intention to withdraw three other petitions concerning the transfer of cases from high courts to the Supreme Court. These petitions pertained to the granting of grace marks to 1,563 candidates due to the loss of time during the examination on May 5. The NTA’s counsel stated that the issue has been resolved and that they would inform the high courts about the decision to cancel the compensatory marks awarded to the candidates, following a June 13 order from the Supreme Court.

Amid the ongoing controversy, the Centre and the NTA informed the Supreme Court that they have cancelled the grace marks given to the 1,563 candidates who took the NEET-UG examination. These candidates now have the option to either retake the test or forgo the compensatory marks previously awarded to them. The examination, held on May 5 across 4,750 centres, saw the participation of around 24 lakh candidates. Initially, the results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced earlier on June 4 due to the quicker completion of answer sheet evaluations.

The NEET-UG examination has been mired in controversy, with allegations of irregularities and protests erupting in several cities. Legal cases have been filed in seven high courts and the Supreme Court. Suspicions were raised when 67 students scored a perfect 720, an unprecedented occurrence in the NTA’s history, with six of these top scorers coming from a centre in Faridabad, Haryana. It is alleged that the grace marks contributed to these perfect scores, further fueling the controversy.

The NEET-UG examination, conducted by the NTA, is crucial for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other related courses in government and private institutions across India. The Supreme Court’s intervention seeks to streamline the legal proceedings and address the widespread allegations of malpractice, ensuring a fair resolution to the disputes surrounding the examination.

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