SC Plea Seeks Scrapping of NEET-UG 2024 Exam Amid Allegations, CBI Probe Demanded
SC Plea Seeks Scrapping of NEET-UG 2024 Exam Amid Allegations, CBI Probe Demanded

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court urging the scrapping of the NEET-UG 2024 exam and calling for a court-monitored CBI or independent agency probe into alleged irregularities during the test held on May 5. The petition, filed by 20 students who appeared for the medical entrance exam, also demands that the National Testing Agency (NTA) and others conduct a fresh examination.

During the hearing of separate petitions concerning the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate)-2024, the apex court on Friday sought responses from the Centre and the NTA regarding a plea for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into allegations of question paper leaks and other irregularities.

The fresh plea highlights "rampant irregularities and fraudulent practices," suggesting that a re-examination is necessary to ensure that deserving students are selected for medical institution admissions. "The sanctity of the examination is questionable in view of confirmed cases of question paper leaks, with FIRs filed and several arrests made, as per media reports," the plea stated.

According to the plea, the NTA's declared results show that 67 candidates scored the maximum possible marks of 720 out of 720. It also notes a significant increase of over 400% in the number of students scoring between 620 and 720 marks.

"The above irregularities need to be thoroughly investigated by the CBI or any other independent agency or committee under the supervision of this court to ensure justice for the large number of deserving students whose claims have been affected by systemic examination failures," the plea asserted.

The petition also requests that a court-appointed committee or independent agency conduct a "post-exam analysis, including academic background checks, forensic analysis, and investigations into all candidates scoring 620 and above," under court supervision.

Furthermore, the plea seeks directions for the NTA and others to take effective steps to ensure transparency and fairness in the examination process, addressing concerns related to alleged fraudulent practices, question paper leaks, impersonation, and unfair means in future NEET-UG examinations.

Earlier, the Centre and the NTA informed the Supreme Court that they had cancelled the grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates who took the exam for MBBS and other courses. These candidates will now have the option to either reappear for the exam or forfeit the compensatory marks given to them due to loss of time.

The NEET-UG 2024 exam was conducted on May 5 across 4,750 centres, with approximately 24 lakh candidates participating. Although the results were initially scheduled to be announced on June 14, they were declared on June 4 due to early completion of answer sheet evaluations.

Allegations of question paper leaks and other irregularities in states like Bihar have sparked protests and led to petitions being filed in high courts and the Supreme Court. On June 10, students protested in Delhi demanding a probe into the alleged irregularities.

The unprecedented number of students scoring a perfect 720 in the NTA's history, including six from a centre in Haryana's Faridabad, has raised suspicions about irregularities, with allegations that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

NEET-UG is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other medical courses in government and private institutions nationwide.

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