Published: 11th January 2022
Supreme Court dismisses plea of students alleging manipulation of their NEET UG marks
The court refused to agree with any of the arguments presented by the advocate representing the students and while dismissing the petition said that all of it was a little too far-fetched
The Supreme Court, on January 10, dismissed a writ petition filed by a group of six students alleging that their NEET UG answer sheets were tampered with and manipulated by the National Testing Agency (NTA) that conducts the examination. The agency told the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna that after the students raised their grievances, they were called to its head office and shown their original answer sheets.
The agency added that the students had accepted that the answer sheets were indeed theirs. The Bench noted that the original answer sheet bore the signature of the students and invigilators and said, "It cannot be prima facie suggested that there were any acts of tampering or manipulation in the back office of the National Testing Agency. The examination has been attempted by 15.44 lakh candidates, out of which six have come to this court. Five have verified their OMR sheet shown to them," the Bench said while dismissing the petitions.
Rupesh Kumar, appearing for the NTA, told the court that according to the procedure, a copy of the answer sheet was sent to all the candidates on their registered email IDs, including the six candidates who have approached the court saying they have not received it.
During the hearing, the bench questioned the students on why the NTA would want to manipulate their results when it is ready to provide the originals. Senior advocate Manoj Swarup, appearing for the students, said that there was a glass partition and they were made to see the original sheets from the other side without even touching it. "These OMR sheets can only be verified by touching it, which they were not allowed to do," he said.
Swarup said that the NTA has admitted the entire database of the examination was transferred to a third agency and hence there was a possibility of tinkering with the marks of these students. The Bench, however, refused to agree with any of his contentions and while dismissing the petition said that all of it was a little too far-fetched. The students claimed that there was a considerable difference in the marks calculated as per the answer key published by the NTA and their final marks which were declared on November 1, 2021.