Supreme Court Seeks NTA's Response On Plea To Cancel NEET Exam Over Alleged Paper Leak

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The Supreme Court (SC) issued notice to the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) on a petition seeking the cancellation of the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) exam for Under-Graduate Medical courses due to an alleged paper leak. Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah posted the matter for July 8, 2024 and sought a response from the NTA.

During the hearing, Justice Amanullah remarked, "It is not that simple that because you have done it is sacrosanct. Sanctity has been affected, so we need answers." The NTA's counsel requested the petition to be tagged with an earlier petition listed for July 8, to which the bench agreed. Advocate Mathews J Nedumpara who appeared for the petitioners, sought a stay on the counselling, but the bench refused, stating, "Let the counselling start, we are not stopping the counselling." The court issued notice and directed the NTA to file a response.

The petition, filed by Shivangi Mishra and others, before the declaration of the results, seeks to direct the NTA to conduct the exam again in view of the alleged paper leak. The petitioners raise doubts about the sanctity of the exam held on May 5 and request its cancellation. On May 17, the SC had refused to stay the declaration of NEET-UG exam results, citing that the results of exams held on a pan-India basis cannot be stayed. The court sought the NTA's response to the plea for a fresh conduct of NEET-UG, 2024, due to alleged question paper leaks and malpractices. The bench refused to stay the counselling for successful candidates for admissions to various medical courses.

NEET-UG, 2024, was held on May 5, and its results were declared on June 4. The plea alleges that the exam was riddled with malpractices, including paper leaks, which violated the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution. The court tagged this plea with a pending one and asked the NTA to file a response.