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NEET-UG 2024: Paper Leak Confirmed By Supreme Court, Re-Test Decision Pending

On Monday, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the question paper for the NEET-UG 2024 had been leaked, putting the “sanctity of the exam” into question. Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud stated, “One thing is clear. The question paper has indeed been leaked.” He further noted, “The fact that the sanctity of the exams […]

Supreme Court Upholds West Bengal's Challenge Against CBI Jurisdiction
Supreme Court Upholds West Bengal's Challenge Against CBI Jurisdiction

On Monday, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the question paper for the NEET-UG 2024 had been leaked, putting the “sanctity of the exam” into question. Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud stated, “One thing is clear. The question paper has indeed been leaked.” He further noted, “The fact that the sanctity of the exams is compromised is beyond doubt. What is the extent of the leak? What is the nature of the leak? That we have to find out. We have to be careful while ordering a re-test as we are dealing with the career of 23 lakh students.”

Students Demand Fairness

The Supreme Court was hearing 35 petitions from students demanding the cancellation of the NEET-UG exams. They cited alleged paper leaks, widespread malpractice, and irregularities. The students questioned the legitimacy of the exam, pointing out that 61 students achieved a perfect score of 720/720, which they argued indicated that the exam had been compromised. They called for a re-test to ensure fairness for all candidates.

Government’s Response

In its affidavit, the Central government opposed the cancellation of the exams, highlighting the potential negative impact on millions of students’ careers. The government admitted that there were isolated incidents of malpractice but emphasized that these were minor compared to the total number of candidates, which is 23 lakh. They claimed there was no significant proof of extensive malpractice to warrant canceling the exams. The government also pointed out that canceling the exams would disrupt the academic calendar and negatively affect students who passed the exam fairly. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is already investigating the irregularities and has made arrests. Additionally, a high-level panel has been set up to develop a foolproof system to prevent future issues.

NTA’s Stand

The National Testing Agency (NTA), responsible for conducting the NEET-UG 2024, submitted an affidavit stating that the malpractice incidents were confined to specific centers in Patna and Godhra. They described these incidents as “minuscule,” “sporadic,” and “scattered.” The NTA contended that annulling the entire exam would be unjust to the students who passed it legitimately without any wrongdoing. They stated that the results of students involved in cheating have been withheld, and show-cause notices have been issued for disciplinary action and potential disqualification. The NTA guaranteed that question papers are printed exclusively at authorized and secure facilities to ensure the exam’s integrity.

Petitioners Arguments

The petitioner’s lawyer called for a re-test, citing extensive fraud, compromised integrity, and widespread malpractice. They provided evidence to the court and referenced ongoing investigations by the Bihar police and the CBI. The lawyer pointed out a Bihar Police press note stating that the NTA failed to follow standard operating procedures, resulting in significant irregularities.

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NEET UG 2024Paper Leak ConfirmedSupreme CourtTDGThe Daily Guardian