8 Jul 2024

NEET-UG-2024 Row: Supreme Court Says It Is Important To Understand Extent of Paper Leak, See Details

On Monday, July 8, the Supreme Court is hearing the ongoing controversy surrounding the NEET-2024 medical entrance exam. The court will determine whether a re-examination will be conducted for all students.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud is presiding over the hearing and questioned the basis for demanding a re-exam. He emphasized the importance of understanding the extent of the paper leak, stating, "It is clear that the paper has been leaked. The question is how big is its scope? It is important to understand how widespread the paper leak is. The entire exam cannot be canceled just because of the mistake of two people. We want to know what steps have NTA and the government taken so far to identify the accused of paper leak."

Assess whether the entire exam was compromised

CJI Chandrachud directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to consult with the government and determine if the Data Analytics Unit of the Cyber Forensic Department could assess whether the entire exam was compromised. He inquired about the possibility of identifying those who benefited from the malpractice, which could provide crucial information on the extent of the issue.

CJI said, 'The lawyers of all the petitioners demanding re-examination should submit a common set to the court by Thursday. It should not be more than 10 pages.'

The Supreme Court is currently handling 38 petitions related to the NEET-2024 controversy, with 34 filed by students, teachers, and coaching institutes, and 4 by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Additionally, more than 50 petitions have been submitted opposing a re-exam.

The NEET-2024 exam, held on May 5, saw approximately 24 lakh candidates appear across 4,750 examination centers in 571 cities. However, the exam faced controversy due to a paper leak and the awarding of grace marks to 1,563 students. Allegations of rigging and malpractice followed, leading to protests in various cities and opposition parties raising the issue in Parliament.

In response, the government provided clarifications, while affected students took their grievances to the High Courts of several states and the Supreme Court. The outcome of today's hearing will be pivotal in determining the next steps for the NEET-2024 examination process.

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