Supreme Court refuses to postpone or stay NEET-UG counselling

A Vacation Bench of Justices Vikram Nath and S.V. Bhatti refused to postpone or stay the counselling process scheduled to begin from July 6.

Updated - June 22, 2024 02:36 am IST

Published - June 21, 2024 04:50 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Students stage a protest outside the Ministry of Education over the alleged irregularities in NEET 2024 results, in New Delhi.

Students stage a protest outside the Ministry of Education over the alleged irregularities in NEET 2024 results, in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on June 21 asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) to respond to pleas for conducting a fresh National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2024 after allegations of question paper leaks and other irregularities have dented the sanctity of the national-level exams for undergraduate medical admissions which saw 24 lakh aspirants appear across the country.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Vikram Nath and S.V. Bhatti however refused to postpone or stay the counselling process scheduled to begin from July 6.

“Counselling is a process. It only commences from July 6. It will continue for a week. Meanwhile, the applicants have many options...to amend/modify…” Justice Bhatti told a counsel for a petitioner.

The court for the second consecutive week, issued notice to pleas seeking a CBI investigation into the allegations of irregularities.

A petitioner urged the court to bring the NEET exam under its direct monitoring.

“We are seeking re-conduct of the exam as NTA has withheld material information,” a lawyer argued.

On Thursday, another set of petitioners had questioned the method used by the NTA to arrive at the figure of 1,563 candidates for retest scheduled on June 23.

“How did the NTA arrive at the figure of 1563… What criteria was followed? The list of these students has not been made public on the website or anywhere…Absolutely arbitrary,” the petitioners submitted.

One of the petitioners had challenged the validity of holding the re-test itself, arguing that the law has only prescribed for one NEET a year.

Thursday had also seen the apex court decide to examine pleas questioning the Centre’s appointment of NTA chairman Prof. Pradeep Kumar Joshi as the head of the high-powered committee which had recommended re-test for 1,563 NEET-UG candidates who were given grace marks.

Petitions had sought an independent panel constituted by the Supreme Court to enquire into the NEET imbroglio.

In a recent hearing, the apex court had made it clear that it did not want “even .001% negligence” on the part of anyone in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 to be spared.

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