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Board asked to keep a medical seat vacant

The high court has asked the state JEE board to leave a seat vacant during the counselling for medical seats following a petition by a candidate challenging the negative marks awarded to her for an answer in the biology paper.

The counselling starts on July 17.

Justice Girish Gupta asked the board to send its representative on July 23 with documents to justify its decision to award negative marks to Anwesha Roy for her answer to question 66 in the biology paper.

Several other candidates have moved the court, or will do so soon, challenging the board’s answer to the question.

Soon after the JEE, the board had posted on its site the model answers in all papers. The candidates’ answer sheets, too, are posted on the site.

When contacted by Metro, a board official said: “If the court has passed a judgment taking cognisance of the student’s plea, it has to be followed.” Asked whether the board would challenge the ruling, he said: “The president of the board will decide on that.”

“After going through the model answers, my client came to know that she had been awarded 2.66 negative marks for her answer to the said question. But she found out following consultation with experts that her answer was correct,” Bikash Bhattacharyya, who appeared for Anwesha, submitted before the bench.

According to board rules, a wrong answer to a question carrying two marks attracts a negative score of 2.66.

Altogether 1,755 students were selected for the medical counselling. “My client has ranked 2242 and scored 109.67 in biology. Had she not been given negative score for the said answer, her biology marks would have been 114 and rank, 1755,” the lawyer submitted.

He also tabled a report containing opinions of “experts” to substantiate his submission and pleaded for an order restraining the board from holding the medical counselling till the disposal of the petition.

Subhamoy Bhattacharya, the board’s lawyer, opposed the plea, saying: “Experts have prepared the model answers. How can the court intervene in the matter?”

After hearing both sides, Justice Gupta directed the board to leave a seat vacant and appear before him on July 23 with documents to prove that its answer was right.