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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Come clean on NEET 'leak': Supreme Court to Modi government, National Testing Agency

'Imagine a situation where a person who has played fraud on the system has become a doctor, he is more deleterious to the society,' a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and S.V.N. Bhatti told the Centre’s counsel, Kanu Agrawal, and advocate V. Kaushik appearing for the NTA

R. Balaji New Delhi Published 19.06.24, 06:29 AM
The Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court. File picture

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) to come clean on the controversy over the NEET paper leak and cautioned that a candidate becoming a doctor through fraudulent means was “deleterious to the society”.

“Imagine a situation where a person who has played fraud on the system has become a doctor, he is more deleterious to the society,” a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and S.V.N. Bhatti told the Centre’s counsel, Kanu Agrawal, and advocate V. Kaushik appearing for the NTA.

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The court was hearing a fresh petition filed by Nitin Vijay seeking a probe into
the alleged NEET question paper leak.

The apex court had earlier issued notices to the Centre and the NTA on a batch of petitions seeking a CBI probe into the alleged leak and other irregularities in the conduct of NEET, including grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates.

“Even if there is 0.001 per cent negligence on the part of anyone, it should be thoroughly dealt with,” the bench said on Tuesday.

The court said thousands of children had put in hard labour to prepare for the exam and it was the duty of the government to admit mistakes in the conduct of the exam.

“Your stance ought not to change the moment you enter the court representing an agency which is responsible for the conduct of the exams. You must stand firm. If there is a mistake, say, yes, there is a mistake and we are going to take action. That inspires confidence in your performance,” Justice Bhatti said.

The court also told the government and the NTA that it was easy to identify the mistakes and the persons responsible for them.

“If someone keeps a table in front of him and finds out the performance of the candidates one can easily identify where it has gone wrong. How many cell phones were used? Where are the places from where the papers(leakage) had come?” the bench said.

The apex court posted the matter, along with the other petitions on this year’s NEET row, for further hearing on July 8.

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-undergraduate (NEET-UG) was held on May 5. Around 22 lakh students had appeared for the exam. The NTA conducted the test across 4,750 centres in 571 cities in India, including 14 abroad.

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