HC orders CB-CID inquiry into alleged goof up in NEET marks

The Madras High Court on Monday ordered a preliminary inquiry by the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) into a claim made by a medical seat aspirant, K.S. Manoj of Coimbatore, that his National Eligibilty-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) marks were shown as 594 out of 720 in the National Testing Agency (NTA) website between October 5 and 16, 2020, but they were suddenly reduced to 248 on October 17.

Justice B. Pugalenthi directed the head of the CB-CID to constitute a special investigation team, comprising cyber-crime experts to hold a preliminary inquiry into the issue without registering a First Information Report and ordered that the inquiry report must be tabled before the court in June.

‘Not fabricated’

Although the NTA counsel said that the screenshots of an Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet produced by the petitioner were fabricated and that the petitioner had obtained only 248 marks, the student asserted that he had not tampered with any document; he and his parents were willing to face a probe by any agency.

After recording their submissions, the court permitted the student to participate in the medical counselling and join the Government Medical College in Thoothukudi, which was allotted to him by considering his NEET score to be 594 out of 720. It clarified that the admission would be subject to the result of the writ petition. “If the investigation reveals any manipulation has been committed by the petitioner, not only the petitioner but his parents will also be held responsible and have to face the legal consequences,” the Bench said in its January 11 order. Needless to state that the petitioner can neither take any advantage of the admission obtained in the college pursuant to the order of this court nor claim any refund of the fee paid at the time of admission.

“He is also liable to pay the course discontinuance fee. The petitioner and his parents, who are also present before this court, virtually, agreed for the aforesaid terms,” the judge had stated in his January 11 order. Thereafter, he heard the case for a while on the question of ordering a probe and finally decided to order a preliminary inquiry into the issue.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 8:40:50 PM |

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