NEET-UG 2021: SC dismisses plea alleging tampering of OMR sheets and results

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition filed by a group of six students who claimed their NEET-UG answer sheets had been tampered with and manipulated by the National Testing Agency conducting the investigation.

A bench of Judges DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna took the submission from the National Testing Agency (NTA) that after the students voiced their grievances, they were called to his office and showed their original answer sheets and they accepted that it was their answer sheet.

The bank noted that the original answer sheet bore the signatures of the students and the invigilators and therefore it cannot be said that the NTA was guilty of manipulation or manipulation of signs of any kind.

“On the face of it, it cannot be suggested that the National Testing Agency’s back office has been tampered with or manipulated. The exam has been attempted by 15.44 lakh candidates, six of whom have come to this court. Five have verified their OMR sheet,” the bank said while rejecting the petitions.

The bank noted the submission by advocate Rupesh Kumar, who appeared before the NTA, that there is only one answer sheet per candidate, an OMR sheet and available on their server.

Under the procedure, Kumar said, a copy of the answer sheet has been sent to all candidates on their registered email IDs, including the six candidates who approached the court saying they did not receive it.

During the hearing, the bank asked the students why the NTA would want to manipulate their results when it is ready to provide the originals.

Senior lawyer Manoj Swarup, who appeared before the students, said there was a glass wall and they could see the original plates from the other side without even touching them.

“These OMR blades can only be verified by touching them, which we weren’t allowed to do,” he said. However, the bank refused to agree to his claim, saying it was a bit far-fetched and denying the petition.

Swarup said the NTA has admitted that the entire database of the exam has been turned over to a third party and thus there was an opportunity to tinker with these students’ grades.

The students claimed that there was a significant difference between the grades calculated according to the answer key published by the NTA and their final grades released on November 1 last year.

Sajal Jain
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