Supreme Court stays Bombay HC order - Clears way for NTA to declare NEET Results
The Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the declaration of the results of the NEET-UG 2021 exam by staying a recent Bombay High Court order which had directed the National Testing Agency to hold fresh exam for two NEET UG aspirants.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai issued notice on the special leave petition filed by the National Testing Agency against the High Court's order.
However, the bench said that it will see what is to be done for the two students, who were prejudiced due to the mix up of the answer sheets done by the invigilator of the exam hall. The bench however said that let the results be declared, and added that it will examine the two students' grievance in detail later.
On Monday, the Solicitor General had sought urgent listing of the petition saying that the declaration of the NEET-UG results were getting delayed due to the High Court's order.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the NTA, submitted that the mix up happened in the case of 6 students. However, only two students have raised the issue before the court, and the other four students have scored good marks.
The student's interest also need to be taken into account, the invigilator has accepted the mistake. If you visualize the situation, the student writing the exam is already anxious. They cannot be left in a lurch", Justice Rao, the presiding judge observed.
"The remaining four wrote the exam and they got good marks", the SG pointed out.
The judge then turned to the students' counsel and said, "There were six students who were similarly placed. He(SG) is right in saying that if the other four could complete the exam and score good marks, why should the results be withheld?".
The students' counsel replied that the other four did not realize the mix-up. "The papers got mixed up for 6 students. 4 of them did not realize. 2 of them realized".
"We will issue notice and stay the HC judgment. SG, you announce the results. There are 16 lakhs students who are eagerly waiting for the results. We'll see what we can do for these 2 students. Because of these 2 students we can't release the results. The centre is ready to rectify whatever has happened with the students. But please announce the results", Justice Rao said.
The bench said that it will post the petition for final hearing on November 12, and will see what can be done for the two students.
The Bombay High Court through its impugned order directed the NTA to hold a fresh examination of the two petitioners for the Academic Year 2021-2022 and declare the result within a period of two weeks.
48 hours clear notice was directed to be given to the Petitioners about the date of examination and the center allotted to them.
The High Court also advised the NTA to frame appropriate Rules / guidelines for providing remedial measures in case of such difficulties that may arise in similar situations, in future, keeping in mind the interest and future of such students.
The two Petitioners before the Bombay High Court sought an order and direction against National Testing Agency to re-examine them by conducting a separate NEET UG examination before declaration of result on grounds of a mix up / mismatch with respect to the Test Booklet and the OMR Sheets during their exams
The petitioners further sought direction to declare the result of their re-examination of along with the result of NEET examination held on 12th September 2021.
According to the Petitioners, the Examiner started distributing the question paper and answer booklet only at 2.05 pm. i.e. 5 minutes later than the timing of the examination.The petitioners argued that during the exam, one examiner started distributing question paper booklets separately to all the students and other examiner started distributing answer sheet booklets. As a result, six candidates in one row got the question paper booklet and the answer sheet booklet with the same CODE and specific 7 digit serial number. However, for the 6 students in the other row, due to the error committed by the Invigilator, both Petitioners got incorrect question paper booklet and answer paper booklets.
According to the petitioners, when they realized this mistake on the part of the Invigilator, they pointed out this mistake to the Invigilator who threatened them with dire consequences of reporting them for causing nuisance and disturbance in the examination hall and thereby committing unfair practice if they further protested.
According to the petitioners, they started answering the questions at 4.15 – 4.30 pm. when time to complete the paper was expiring at 5.00 pm, and being in confusion and anxiety caused due to the blunder caused by the Invigilator, they could not complete the paper.
Harshita Nandal has worked as a Creative head in Mitrakshar, University of Delhi. She has done her Graduation from the University of Delhi in English Honours. In her free time, she prefers to play the guitar, take short walks in between work and loves to watch Korean dramas. Currently, she is an author at Educere India to fulfil the desire of her passion for writing.
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