News Brief

'Re-Exam If Breach Affects Entire Process': Six Highlights From Supreme Court's Observations On NEET-UG Irregularities

Nishtha Anushree

Jul 08, 2024, 04:50 PM | Updated 04:50 PM IST

The Supreme Court of India (Narendra Bisht/The India Today Group/Getty Images)
The Supreme Court of India (Narendra Bisht/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra heard petitions seeking the cancelation of the NEET-UG exam. Here are the observations made:

1. Irregularities: CJI noted that while the candidates securing max 720 marks were confined to a few between 2020-2023, it increased to 67 in 2024. Also, ranks of students securing marks between 539-700 was lower in 2024.

2. Scrutiny: CJI said that it will have to be scrutinised whether the alleged breach took place at systemic level, whether it has affected integrity of entire exam process and the possibility of segregation of frauds.

3. Re-exam or not: "In a situation where breach affects entirety of the process and it's not possible to segregate beneficiaries from others, it may be necessary to order re-exam," the CJI said.

However, he added, "Where the breach is confined to specific centres and it's possible to identify beneficiaries of wrongdoing, it may not be proper to order re-test such an exam, which has been conducted on massive scale."

4. Disclosure: The bench directed the National Testing Agency (NTA) to make full disclosure regarding the nature of the leak, the places where the leak happened and the lag of time between the occurrence of the leak and the conduct of the exam.

5. Investigation: The bench asked the investigation officer to place material before the court which has been gathered which would have bearing on when the leak is alleged to have first taken place and the modality.

6. Demand from NTA: The bench demanded NTA to disclose the steps taken so far for the identification of beneficiaries of the fraud, the modalities followed for identification and the number of students who were beneficiaries.

After these directions, the matter has been listed for further hearing on Thursday. The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asserted that the government is not adversarial to the petitioners and will assist the court dispassionately.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.