NEET-PG 2022: SC issues notice to NBE on plea seeking directions to release question paper & answer key

Agreeing to consider the plea, a vacation bench led by Justice Vikram Nath requested a response from the NBE, Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), and others
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

Today, Thursday, June 20, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a notice regarding a petition seeking directions for the National Board of Examinations (NBE) to release the question paper and answer key of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test - Postgraduate (NEET-PG) examination, reports IANS.

Agreeing to consider the plea, a vacation bench led by Justice Vikram Nath requested a response from the NBE, Medical Counselling Committee (MCC), and others.

“Issue notice returnable on 8th of July, 2024. In the meantime, respondents may file their counter affidavits,” ordered the Bench, which also included Justice SVN Bhatti.

As per the IANS, during the hearing, the National Testing Agency (NTA) stated that it is not a necessary party to the litigation and should be removed from the list of parties involved. “The PG (entrance exam) is conducted by the National Board of Examination,” submitted NTA’s counsel.

After hearing this, Justice Bhatti remarked, “You may put it on record. When we pass an order, we will use our discretion under Supreme Court rules and delete you from the array of parties.”

The plea, filed directly before the apex court, challenged the “arbitrary act and decision” of NBE in not releasing the question paper, answer key, and answer sheet for NEET-PG 2022, and in not providing an option to re-evaluate the scores. This was despite “serious discrepancies” in the scores of candidates for NEET-PG 2021 and NEET-PG 2022, reports IANS.

“There are no other competitive exams in India, with such lack of transparency and complete one-sided flow of information as NEET-PG,” stated the plea, filed through advocate Charu Mathur.

It noted that the NEET-UG conducted by NTA allows candidates to challenge the answer keys, and several other prestigious exams, including the Indian Institute of Technology - Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE), Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), and judicial services examinations, also provide options to challenge the answer keys.

However, the information bulletin published by NEET-PG 2024, consistent with previous years, prohibits requests for accessing answer sheets. This bars the petitioner from exercising her constitutional and legitimate right to access her answer sheets even under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, the plea argued, states IANS.

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