NEET-UG case: SC issues notice to NTA over OMR sheets
NEET-UG case: SC issues notice to NTA over OMR sheets - PC : Freepik
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) to apprise it whether there is any time limit for raising grievances regarding the OMR sheets provided to the candidates who appeared in NEET-UG 2024.

A vacation bench of Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti, which issued notice to the NTA on a fresh plea filed by a private coaching centre and a few NEET candidates, tagged the petition with the pending matters and listed it for hearing on July 8.

Senior advocate R Basant, appearing for the coaching institute and the candidates, submitted that a few students, who have appeared for the examination, have not got the OMR sheets.

The bench at the outset pointed out to Basant how can a private coaching institute file an Article 32 petition in the Supreme Court and what kind of fundamental rights of the institution are affected.

Counsel appearing for the NTA submitted that the OMR sheets have been uploaded on the website and given to the candidates.

The bench asked him whether there was any time limit for raising the grievance of OMR sheets.

The NTA counsel said that he needed to take instructions and sought a listing of the petition along with the pending matters.

"We will file a short reply by then to the query," he said.

Basant pointed out that there is no set procedure or time limit to raise the grievance and therefore as an interim relief the candidates are seeking grant of OMR sheets.

The bench then issued notice and tagged the petition with the pending matters while asking the counsel for NTA to file a short written reply to the court's query within the time limit.

On June 20, the top court sought responses from the Centre, the NTA and others on a slew of petitions, including those seeking scrapping of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 and a court-monitored probe, amid mounting outrage over alleged irregularities in conducting the all-India medical entrance test.

While hearing separate pleas on the NEET-UG 2024, the apex court had on June 18 said that even if there was "0.001 percent negligence" on the part of anyone in the conduct of the examination, it should be thoroughly dealt with. It had listed all the petitions for hearing on July 8.

The NEET-UG is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

The Centre and the NTA had on June 13 told the top court that they had cancelled the grace marks given to 1,563 candidates who took the examination for admission to MBBS and other such courses.

They will have the option to either take a retest or forgo the compensatory marks awarded to them for the loss of time, the Centre had said.

The examination was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets got completed earlier.

The allegations have led to protests in several cities and sparring between rival political parties.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA's history, with six from a centre in Haryana's Faridabad figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.