Published: 28th September 2022
NEET UG 2022: Student aggrieved due to discrepancies in answer sheet; case heard by Delhi HC
The OMR sheets received by the student appeared to have been manipulated, where her roll number and details were overwritten
Since the NEET UG 2022 provisional answer key was released by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on August 31, this candidate in Delhi has been through a rough time. When Anushka (name changed) downloaded her response sheet using her login credentials, she found that though the sheet had her thumb impression, her roll number, signature and parents’ names appeared to have been overwritten. Starting from this discrepancy, the matter escalated and is now being heard at the Delhi High Court.
"When I checked the responses and matched them with the answer key, my score was 619 marks out of 700. This was close to the mark I was expecting. So, I did not raise the issue then,” explained Anushka, in a conversation with EdexLive. “However, when the final answer sheet was released, I saw that my score was 389 marks, which is very low. The answer sheet was the same with overwritten credentials,” she said.
Worried, the candidate and her father sent an email to the NTA regarding the discrepancy. The NTA replied on September 8 with Anushka’s response sheet where her roll number and other details were perfectly fine and not tampered with. “But the one we had downloaded was obviously a different one,” said the girl’s father.
“We sent another email to NTA about the issue but there was no response. We also sent two RTI inquiries to the NTA, but still received no response,” the parent said. The father-daughter duo then went to the NTA Head Office in Delhi, where they were told that only the candidate will be allowed to see the physical response sheet.
“My daughter was shown the same response sheet which appeared to be forged,” the parent said. According to him, when asked about it, NTA stated that it could not happen that someone else manipulated the answer sheet. “After this, we were left with no other option but to approach the court,” Anushka’s father said.
In the court
The hearing on the matter took place on September 26. During the proceedings, the student presented her case through Advocate Ashutosh Mishra. She submitted the photocopies of her answer sheet in court. “Her roll number is 4410050113 but it appears to be changed to 447958113. Even the text booklet number has undergone a similar instance of overwriting. There are two different sets of OMR responses filled for the text booklet number. This is a clear indication of discrepancy and manipulation,” Advocate Mishra said.
According to him, NTA has denied the charges in court. As per the official court order, Advocate Sanjay Khanna, the Counsel appearing for NTA, has submitted that if numerical values in the response sheet were found to be double-shaded, the sheet would be ordinarily rejected as it would be considered as prima facie manipulated.
Nonetheless, Advocate Khanna stated that the NTA would file a counter affidavit with a detailed report within two weeks on the matter. Advocate Mishra said that the next hearing would take place on October 11.
"We want that my daughter should get her due. She worked hard and she has performed well. She should get the marks accordingly. We do not want anything more," the aggrieved student's father said.
Advocate Mishra informed that similar matters were registered in the Madras High Court and also in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. "In 2020 as well, a matter like this was heard at the Madras High Court, where the court had granted interim relief to the petitioner. We also request for the same," he said.