SC refuses to defer NEET counselling

New Delhi, June 21 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Friday said NEET-UG 2024 counselling is not an “open and shut” process and declined to stay the exercise that is scheduled to start on July 6. The court also issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA).

A vacation bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice SVN Bhatti took up all the new petitions and tagged them with the existing petitions which are scheduled for hearing on July 8.

A petitioner’s counsel said, “I am not seeking a stay of counselling, only that it may be paused for 2 days. Counselling is starting on 6 July, main matter is listed on 8 July.”

Justice Bhatti, however, refused to stay the counselling saying, “Counselling is not open and shut. It is a process. The process will only commence on the 6th. Till a week thereafter, applicants have many options…to amend/modify…then only it gets in the domain of the convenor.”

The Court was hearing petitions seeking cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 exam and the counselling and seat allotment process in medical college set to begin on July 6.

The petitioners prayed, among various other demands, that fresh exams be conducted under the court-monitored committee.

Another application seeking a CBI investigation into the alleged paper leak was also listed before the bench.

One of the petitioners said, “We are seeking re-conduct of the exam as NTA has withheld material information. 773 candidates failed without including grace marks.”

Justice Nath directed the NTA counsel to file their response to the interim applications in two weeks and tagged all the petitions with the main petition.

Another plea was filed by a candidate seeking permission to re-appear in the exam scheduled for June 23. The candidate claims he has a medical condition.

Justice Nath directed the counsel appearing for NTA that the candidate has been sending requests to NTA.

The candidate has not received a response from NTA. We want you to ensure NTA takes the decision in two hours and informs him by 4 PM by email, Justice Nath said.

The Court gave the direction to advocate Vardhaman Kaushik, counsel for NTA who accepted the court notice and replied that it will certainly take prompt action.

Justice Nath directed NTA counsel to file their response to the interim applications within two weeks, tagged the fresh petitions with the previous ones and posted all the matters for hearing.

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