SC nod for cancellation of 1,563 grace-marked NEET-UG 2024 results

New Delhi, June 13 (UNI) The Supreme Court Thursday endorsed recommendations by a National Testing Agency committee that called for scrapping of grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates in the NEET-UG 2024 exams, cancellation of their scorecards issued on June 4, and paving way for an optional retest.

A Vacation Bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Sandeep Mehta agreed with the recommendations of the committee appointed by NTA which stated that the affected 1,563 candidates will be informed of their actual scores without compensatory marks.

Their report cards as issued on June 4 will be withdrawn and all the affected 1,563 candidates could appear for retest on June 23 if they wanted.

In case of those not wishing to appear for retest then their final marks for entrance into medical colleges will be their actual marks obtained in May 5 exam minus the grace marks.

Advocate Kanu Agarwal, representing the Union Government said that the decision was taken by the NTA panel on June 12 to “allay the fears of the students”.

Agarwal stated that the panel has suggested that the award of compensatory marks to 1,563 students on the grounds of loss of time resulted in a ” skewed situation”.

The committee, after examining all aspects decided that the grace marks granted to the students should be withdrawn and they will be informed of their actual marks (without grace marks soon).

The results of the affected candidates who do not wish to appear for the re-examination will be declared on their actual marks without compensation obtained by them in the examination held on May 5, 2024.

The marks obtained by the candidates who will appear in the retest will be considered based on June 23 exam and those issued on June 4 based on the May 5 examination will be discarded.

The matter pertains to several petitions filed in the Supreme Court challenging the grant of compensatory marks to 1,563 candidates using the normalisation formula whereby, the candidates who were not allowed 3 hours 20 minutes admissible to them at the centre, were permitted to take their examination for lesser time.

Around 24 lakh medical aspirants took the NEET-UG 2024 – entrance for undergraduate medical courses – conducted by the NTA on May 5. The results were to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4. But allegations of a question paper leak and grace marks to over 1,500 medical aspirants triggered protests and lawsuits in seven high courts besides the Supreme Court.

The compensatory marks were said to be awarded on the recommendation of a Grievance Redressal Committee relying upon a judgment of this Court in the case of Disha Panchal vs.Union of India and others.

The National Testing Agency constituted another committee to reconsider the issue and gave its recommendation on the award of compensatory marks.

The subsequent committee held meetings on June 10, 11 and 12 and made recommendations which were placed before the apex court on June 13.

According to the recommendations, it was suggested that the score-cards of the affected 1,563 candidates issued on June 4, 2024, will stand cancelled and withdrawn.

The Court also recorded the submission of Senior Advocate Naresh Kaushik, for the NTA, who said that the re-test will be notified today itself and will be likely to be held on June 23.

The results of the re-test will be published before June 30 so that the counselling scheduled on July 6 can start.

Recording the stand of the Union and the NTA, the Court disposed of one petition which challenged the grant of grace marks.

The Court also issued notice on another petition which alleged paper-leak of the exam and tagged it with similar petitions which is posted on June 8.

There are a total of three petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the NEET-UG, 2024 results for widespread irregularities and raising suspicions concerning the grant of grace marks in the test by the National Testing Agency to over 1500 candidates on the ground of “loss of time”.

One of the petitions was filed by PhysicsWalah CEO Alakha Pandey through Advocate J Sai Deepak who alleged that the NTA’s decision to award grace marks was “arbitrary”.

The second petition was filed by SIO members Abdullah Mohammed Faiz and Dr Shaik Roshan Mohiddin, seeking recall of the NEET-UG 2024 results and conduct of a fresh exam. This petition also challenged the grace marks awarded arbitrarily.

The third petition was filed by NEET candidate-Jaripiti Kartheek, challenging the award of grace marks as compensation for alleged loss of time during the exam.

Earlier on June 11, the Supreme Court issued notice on another petition seeking a declaration of the NEET-UG results (on June 4), and seeking cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 test over an alleged paper leak.

The Supreme Court held that the sanctity of the exam had been affected, and sought a response from the NTA on the allegations of paper leak by July 8.

The Apex court, however, turned down the prayer to stay the counselling process.

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