NEET-UG Paper Leak Row: SC To Hear Re-Examination Pleas Tomorrow; NTA Files Affidavit | Recap

Earlier, pleas in the Supreme Court called for the NEET-UG examination 2024 to be re-conducted. Upon hearing the petition on July 8, the top court stated that the sanctity of the NEET UG exam had been compromised and sought responses from the Central Government and National Testing Agency (NTA).

A protest against NEET-UG irregularities | Photo: PTI

Amid the spiralling row over examination-related irregularities, the Supreme Court of India is slated to hear the pleas on NEET-UG re-examination on Thursday, July 11. Earlier, the apex court stated that it needed more facts before reaching a verdict on the matter concerning re-examination for NEET UG candidates.

On July 8, the probing agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the conductor of the examination National Testing Agency (NTA) were directed to submit their reports by 5 PM on Wednesday.

Following the SC order, NTA on Thursday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court after making an assessment of the performance of all the appeared candidates at the concerned centers to come to the conclusion as to whether any tangible impact of the malpractice at that centers has taken place so as to have widespread ramifications of impactable magnitude.

Citing report by IIT Madras, NTA said the data analysis of the performance so done succinctly indicates that the alleged malpractices have not, either impacted the sanctity of the entire exam or resulted in any undue benefit to the students appearing at the centers in Godhra and Patna, affidavit of NTA says.

NEET-UG Row: About the paper leak controversy

The entire competitive exam paper leak-related controversy stemmed from this year's NEET-UG examination conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). NEET UG results this year triggered a massive outrage as 67 students allegedly had topped the exam while NEET UG 2023 had a total of two topppers.

Later on, the testing agency announced grace marks were awarded to students who had suffered loss of time at their exam centres on May 5. A re-examination these students were conducted later as well.

NEET-UG Supreme Court hearing: Top points

  • A plea in the Supreme Court called for the exam to be re-conducted. Upon hearing the petition on July 8, the top court stated that the sanctity of the NEET UG exam had been compromised and called on responses from the Central Government and NTA.

  • "No question that paper has been leaked, we are determining the extent of leak... Are we still in the process of identifying students who were beneficiaries? If we are [...], we will have to cancel the exam. Cancellation of exam of 24 lakh students is a matter of extreme last resort," the Supreme Court said on Monday.

  • After facing huge backlash, NTA told the Supreme Court that it will be cancelling the grace marks of 1,563 students and offer them re-exam.

NEET-UG row: July 8 SC hearing

On July 8, while hearing pleas over the NEET-UG 2024 matter, thee top court concluded if sanctity of the exam is lost, then re-test has to be ordered, adding that cancellation of the exam is "extreme last resort".

"If paper leak is taking place through Telegram, WhatsApp and electronic means, then it spreads like wildfire," the top court said on Monday on NEET-UG 2024.

"We have to identify the beneficiaries. Anybody who has breached is not entitled to... more than the number of beneficiaries, we want to know what action was taken by government and the NTA," the Supreme Court said.

"Let us not be in self-denial about what happened," the Supreme Court on NEET-UG 2024 question paper leak, asking about involving cyber forensic unit, using AI to ascertain number of wrongdoers and explore possibility of re-test for them.

The Supreme Court further added that the following will have to be scrutinised:

  • alleged breach has taken place at systemic level

  • the breach has affected integrity of entire exam process;

  • whether it's possible to segregate beneficiaries of fraud from untainted students.