13 June 2019
New Delhi : A group of students moved the Supreme Court on Thursday claiming that answer keys of four questions in the National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses were apparently incorrect. The test was held on May 5.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi agreed to hear the writ petition, which was filed by advocate Mahfooz Nazki representing Kayathi Rohan Reddy and three others, hailing from Hyderabad. The students claim the error can potentially jeopardize prospects of lakhs of students, who had appeared for the test.
The counsel for the petitioners urged the top court to direct the quashing of the final answer key published on June 5 by the National Test Agency (NTA), the agency which conducts NEET UG -2109. "Pertinently, no option was given to the candidates to file any objections. To the shock and chagrin of the petitioners, not only did the Key continue to have errors, some answers that had been correctly notified earlier, stood changed to a wrong answer", said the petitioners.
Initially, the court declined to allocate a hearing on the matter, but the counsel insisted, and then the court finally allowed the plea for hearing.
The petition claimed that the answer keys first published by the NTA on May 29 had a number of questions answered wrongly. On May 30, the petitioners through a representation pointed out in the official answer keys yet again, and subsequently, after a revision, the answer keys were published on June 5.
The final answer key published on June 5 by the NTA, shall be quashed, and a revised answer key should be published. "The respondents (authorities concerned) have not only failed to rectify the defects/errors in the question papers but have also refused to accept any representations sought to be made by the petitioners in respect of the revised key. The whole process is, therefore, vitiated and is liable to be set aside", said the petition.
The petition claimed that the authorities concerned discarded the representation sent by students on June 9, citing that the matter is already been referred to the specialists in the field, and the final answer keys was published subsequently. The petitioners have cited NCERT textbooks in their defence.