The Supreme Court has given a green signal to the National Testing Agency (NTA) to announce the results of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate courses for the year 2021.
The apex court gave the order while staying a recent directive of the Bombay High Court to the NTA to conduct the examination for two undergraduate medical aspirants. The two students, Abhishek Shivaji and Vaishanavi Bhopali, had alleged that there was a mismatch of serial numbers on their question papers and answer sheets.
“Results of around 16 lakh students cannot be put on hold for two students,” the top court observed while asking the NTA to go ahead with the publication of the results.
The Centre had moved the Supreme Court and said that even though the results of the exam were ready, the NTA couldn’t declare them due to the stay imposed by the Bombay High Court.
“Delay in NEET result will impact the undergraduate medical admissions,” the central government said in its appeal.
One of two aspirants answered 130 questions, while the other one attempted 160 questions.
“They have scored good marks but also, a total of six students were there who faced the same problem,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court bench, comprising justices LN Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai.
“[The] other four did not have a problem. How come only two had a problem and could not finish the paper? Four students attempted 200 questions. But these two petitioners attempted only 130 questions?” Justice LN Rao asked.
“The other four students did not realize the mistake made by authorities. These two students did and they knew that even if they fill the answers, it will be judged wrongly,” the lawyer for the petitioners told the Supreme Court.
The apex court said that it would issue a notice and stay the high court’s judgement, but advised the NTA to announce the results. “There are 16 lakh students who are eagerly waiting for the results. We will see what we can do for these two students,” the bench said.
The SC has now issued notice to the NTA. The matter will be heard next on November 12.
Earlier, a few medical aspirants had moved the top court, seeking its direction to the NTA to cancel and conduct the exam again, alleging that it was “not held in a fair manner”.
The Supreme Court, however, dismissed their petition saying lakhs of students have appeared in the exam and results cannot be cancelled because of some FIRs.
In another case, the Kerala High Court has directed the NTA to probe into the case of an alleged manipulation in the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet of a candidate in the state.