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EdTech firm moves SC against grace marks to 1500 NEET-UG students

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
Last updated on: June 12, 2024 19:24 IST
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The chief executive of EdTech firm ‘Physics Wallah', Alakh Pandey, has moved the Supreme Court against alleged random award of grace marks by the National Testing Agency to over 1,500 candidates who took the controversy-ridden National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate, 2024 for admission to MBBS, BDS and others courses.

IMAGE: Members of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad stage a protest against the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG results, in Kolkata, June 11, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

The plea urged the top court to set up an expert panel under its supervision to "enquire into the examination process and results of NEET (UG) 2024.”

The top court had said on Tuesday the sanctity of the NEET-UG, 2024 has been affected and sought responses from the Centre and the National Testing Agency on another plea seeking holding of the examination afresh on grounds of alleged question paper leak and other malpractices.


Pandey, in his plea filed through lawyer Rohit Jain, the managing partner of law firm ‘Singhania & Co', has also sought a direction to the expert panel he has mooted “to come up with improvement in the process of conducting NEET examination and without hampering the interest of the other students”.

“Issue a writ or direction including ... directing the respondents (NTA and others) to take necessary steps to make the process of conducting the NEET examination without any loopholes,” the plea said.

Lawyer J Sai Deepak, who appeared for Pandey, mentioned the plea for urgent listing on Tuesday before a vacation bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah. The bench asked him to approach the apex court registry with his plea.

"Multiple petitions have been listed in the Court. Some of the petitions were filed before the declaration of results on the basis that there had been a leak of the paper itself. Notices have been issued in regard to those petitions. Our petition is slightly different.

“We represent Alakh Pandey, who has collected signatures from about 20,000 students which clearly shows that close to about 70 to 80 marks have been awarded in grace marks randomly to at least 1,500 students. We are challenging the arbitrary award of grace marks. The court has indicated that our matter will also be taken up with the other matters but the court is clear that it will not stay the counselling process at this stage,” lawyer Sai Deepak said.

The plea challenges the alleged award of grace marks on account of loss of time apparently due to several reasons. The petition is yet to be listed for hearing.

The NEET-UG 2024 examination was held by the NTA on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates took 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 plea said the NTA intimated about the award of grace marks as a "reaction" and not on its own at the time of declaring the results.

“So much so this clarification came about only when queries were raised as to how 718/719 marks out of total 720 marks can be awarded when the same was not technically possible as per the marking scheme,” the plea said.

It asked on what basis the policy for awarding grace marks was adopted when it was not the practice the NTA had adopted in the preceding years.

It demanded that the NTA must provide the details of the 1563 candidates who were given compensatory marks for the loss of time mentioning therein the original marks of such candidates, the grace marks granted to them and the revised marks they secured.

The plea filed on June 1 emanates from a Bihar police probe into the alleged leak of question paper meant for the exam. As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in NTA's history, with six from a centre in Haryana's Faridabad figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities.

Scores of students protested in Delhi on June 10 seeking a probe into alleged irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

While issuing the notice on another plea filed by 10 students including Shivangi Mishra, the top court had on Tuesday, however, refused to stay the counselling of successful candidates.

It tagged the plea filed by Shivangi Mishra with a pending petition and asked the NTA to file a response in the meantime. The top court will now hear the pleas on July 8 when the summer vacation which commenced on May 20 comes to an end.

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

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.