New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday told the central government and the National Testing Agency (NTA) that any individual found involved in the alleged paper leak in this year’s National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) should not be spared.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and SVN Bhatti verbally remarked that “even if there is 0.001% negligence on the part of anyone, it should be thoroughly dealt with”.

The bench said it is expecting a timely action from the NTA and that the agency must ensure that all candidates are treated fairly. “If there is a mistake, say yes, this is a mistake, and this is the action we are going to take. At least that inspires confidence in your performance,” the court said.

Children study hard to get through the test conducted by the NTA for admission to undergraduate medical programmes, the bench noted, while saying: “Imagine a person who has played fraud on the system becomes a doctor; he is more deleterious to the society.”

During the resumed hearing, the Centre told the court that no opinion should be formed on the allegations till a proper response is filed in the matter. The case will come up for resumed hearing on July 8.

At the last hearing, the Supreme Court issued notice on a plea seeking a CBI probe into alleged instances of paper leak and malpractices in the conduct of the examination held on May 5.

The bench had directed the NTA to respond within two weeks. It had also verbally observed that it was mindful of the fact that the issue at hand involved the future of 24 lakh students.

The Centre had, last Thursday, informed the Supreme Court that it decided to scrap the scorecards of 1,563 candidates who were given grace marks for a wrong question in the test. These candidates will be given the opportunity to take a re-test. If any of them chose not to take the re-test, then their earlier score, without the grace marks, will be counted, it said.

This means that the candidates, who got less than the allotted time to write the NEET-UG 2024 test, will have the option to retake the exam or forgo the grace mark.

  • Published On Jun 19, 2024 at 07:15 AM IST

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