The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the order of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court that awarded 196 grace marks for students who had taken NEET exam in Tamil this year. It has also ordered the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to continue the second round of counselling for medical admissions in Tamil Nadu, which was earlier suspended after the High Court order.
The Supreme Court remarked that if the Tamil version was ambigious, the students could have verified it with the English version of the question.
SC also said that the petitioners and the respondents must reply in two weeks as to how such a situation can be avoided in the future.
Notice has been issued by the SC to the petitioner in the Madras High Court, TK Rangarajan and Tamil Nadu government.
On July 10, the Madurai bench of Madras High Court had ordered the CBSE to award 196 grace marks for the students since 49 questions in the Tamil question paper had been mistranslated. The court has also ordered CBSE to release a revised rank list based on this order within two weeks.
This order was issued based on a petition filed by TK Rangarajan, a CPI (M) Rajya Sabha MP.
The MP had contested that nearly one-third of the question paper was translated wrongly in Tamil. The CBSE had then approached the Supreme Court for an interim stay as according to the Madras HCâ€™s decision, counseling had to be temporarily stopped.
In its petition to the Supreme Court, the CBSE had claimed that it had used translators recommended by the Tamil Nadu government. The CBSE had also contended that giving 196 grace marks to all Tamil students may take the total marks above the maximum in some cases. In their petition, the CBSE said that in some cases, students would get 750 marks out of 720 if the grace marks are allowed.
The board also said that it had discussed the translation with experts, who had found no fault with it.
NEET was conducted across India on May 6. Around 24,000 students took the exam in Tamil.
The rank list for medical counselling in Tamil Nadu was released by the TN department of health and family welfare on June 28. The first round of counselling for admissions to TN medical colleges began on July 1 an ended on July 7.
The cut-off under NEET for unreserved category this year stood at 119 and for OBC, SC and ST stood at 96 out of the total 720 marks.