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‘Irregularities’ in NEET-UG: SC seeks response of Centre, NTA on plea for CBI probe

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New Delhi: In a significant development amid a raging row over the NEET-UG, the Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from the Centre and the NTA on a plea for a CBI probe into allegations of question paper leak and other irregularities in the exam.

A vacation bench of justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta, which was hearing a batch of pleas including a PIL filed by Hiten Singh Kashyap, also sought responses from the CBI and the Bihar government within two weeks.

It said the pleas will be taken up with other pending ones on July 8, when the top court will start functioning after the summer vacation.

During brief hearing, the bench got irked when a lawyer referred to the students committing suicides at Kota, a hub of coaching centres, in Rajasthan as an argument to buttress his case for a CBI probe.

“Don’t make unnecessary emotional arguments here,” Justice Nath said.

Responding to the submission for ordering a CBI probe, the bench said the reply of the NTA was necessary before an order could be passed.

“It is the future of 24 lakh students,” the lawyer said.

“We understand. We are conscious of all that,” the bench said.

The Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) had on Thursday told the Supreme Court they had cancelled the grace marks given to 1,563 candidates who took the examination for admission to MBBS and other such courses.

They will have the option to either take a re-test or forgo the compensatory marks awarded to them for the loss of time, the Centre had said.

The examination was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates took it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets got completed earlier.

There have been allegations of question paper leaks in states like Bihar and other irregularities in the prestigious exam.

The allegations have led to protests in several cities and filing of cases in seven high courts as also the Supreme Court. Scores of students protested in Delhi on June 10 seeking a probe into alleged irregularities.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA’s history, with six from a centre in Haryana’s Faridabad figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

The NEET-UG examination is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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