The Supreme Court on Monday, October 4, refused to entertain a plea seeking cancellation of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, undergraduate, (NEET UG) held on September 12, 2021 on the ground that the examination was not conducted in a fair and transparent manner. The apex court dismissed the plea saying that cancellation of the exam cannot be at the cost of lakhs of students. A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao, which stopped short of imposing Rs 5 lakh cost, noted that the petitioner seeks setting aside the NEET-UG Exam and directing the National Testing Agency to conduct the exam afresh.
The basis is that CBI has registered 3 FIRs wherein it has stated that there has been impersonation of the candidates, the apex court noted. "What kind of writs are filed under Article 32 (right to seek justice)? Lakhs of people have taken these exams. When people come to you (advocate), don't you say that these will be dismissed with cost? You now want to cancel the entire exam? You argue, we'll deal with this at length and we'll deal with you specially," the bench also comprising Justice B R Gavai said.
Advocate Ninad Dogra, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that CBI has registered three FIRs and examination papers were leaked on WhatsApp. The top court was hearing a plea filed by 20-year-old petitioner Saloni, seeking cancellation of the NEET UG exam held on September 12, 2021, citing alleged malpractices and conducting the exam afresh.
The plea comes amid major scams around the NEET that were unearthed in various parts of the country in the recent past. The petitioners have requested that NEET UG 2021 be conducted again in a fair manner.
In one case, the Rajasthan police arrested an 18-year-old NEET aspirant and seven others in connection with the answer key for the exam being leaked, on September 14. On the same day, Varanasi police arrested a medical student of the King George Medical University and another person for their alleged involvement in a NEET solving racket. In another case, the CBI found that a Nagpur-based consultancy was offering proxies to write the exam for a fee of Rs 50 lakh.