Madras HC cancels MBBS admission of student over alleged NEET score manipulation

The court ruled that the student's admission to Thoothukudi Government Medical College must be terminated, following allegations that his NEET score had been manipulated
Picture of Madras High court | Pic: Express
Picture of Madras High court | Pic: Express

In a judgment that may have significant ramifications, the Madras High Court on Friday, March 3, cancelled the MBBS admission of a third-year student of Thoothukudi government college who had approached the court in 2020 alleging possible manipulation of answer sheet leading to lower marks in NEET than calculated by him as per the answer key uploaded on NTA website, stated a report by The New Indian Express.

Justice CV Karthikeyan in his order said, "In view of the decision taken, I am afraid that the permission granted by the learned single judge to permit the petitioner to attend counselling, consequent to which allotment of medical seat in Thoothukudi Government Medical College was made, will have to be interfered with and orders will have to be passed terminating the continuance of study by the petitioner,” stated the report by The New Indian Express.

He also dismissed an order of the court directing a probe by the CB-CID as the order has become non est in the eyes of law. The matter involves the NEET score of KS Manoj who had approached the HC in 2020 with a petition saying he had actually secured 594 marks out 720 in NEET 2020 by reckoning the answer key but the results showed his score as 248.

He alleged that the OMR sheet uploaded by the National Testing Agency (NTA) was changed resulting in his poor score and showed screenshots of the website to support his claim. 

After hearing his petition, a single judge ordered the authorities concerned to give him admission and subsequently he was admitted to Thoothukudi college. Another single judge, when the matter came up before him, ordered a probe by the CB-CID as well.

The NTA, which was represented by senior counsel G Rajagopalan, assisted by standing counsel Sunita Kumari, made an appeal before a division bench which stayed the order for probe, stating that it is left to the single judge either to continue or vacate the stay. When the NTA knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court, it reverted the matter back to the single judge to decide on the issue since allegations of manipulation of answer sheets were involved, as reported by The New Indian Express.

However, the report of the central forensic sciences laboratory (CFSL) in Chandigarh ruled out any tampering and said the signatures found in the exam attendance record and OMR sheet were the same.

Justice Karthikeyan said, "These facts conclusively prove that there was only one OMR sheet. This had been produced before this court. The petitioner had obtained 248 marks out of 720."

He also held that the contentions of counsel for the petitioner stretched the issues a little too far and noted that the petitioner has not been able to advance any argument to disprove the strong conclusive proof of the answer sheet, stated The New Indian Express report.

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