Plea in Supreme Court seeks NEET-UG 2021 cancellation over paper leak

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking cancellation of NEET-UG 2021 Entrance Examination held on September 12, 2021, conducted by the National Testing Agency across nation and conduct of examination afresh to protect the interest of genuine, deserving and meritorious candidates.

Apart from this, the petition, filed by the candidates who appeared for NEET-UG entrance test, sought to enhance the standard of Security protocols – biometric verification of candidates, use of jammers etc to conduct the examination in a fair and transparent manner. It further prayed for direction to the DGPs of Rajasthan and UP to file a report in a week.

According to the plea, from the bare perusal of the FIR dated September 12, registered by CBI, it is crystal clear that the NEET-UG 2021 entrance examination paper was leaked under a criminal conspiracy, wherein involvement of renowned coaching centers and paper solver gang has been found. On the date of the examination itself, CBI registered FIR against four accused and other unknown persons. The FIR clearly stated that the process of examination was manipulated by using proxy candidates and an exorbitant amount up to Rs 50 lakh per candidate was charged by the coaching centers and solver gangs.

The petition stated that initial investigation has established the fact beyond doubt that NEET-UG 2021 was irreversibly vitiated by use of fraudulent means and unfair practices. Apart from CBI, multiple FIRs dated September 13 have also been registered by police in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra in respect of NEET- UG 2021 Entrance Exam Paper leak.

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It was mentioned by the petitioners that the case is squarely covered by the Supreme Court judgment reported as “Tanvi Sarwal vs Central Board of Secondary Education and Ors, reported as (2015) 6 SCC 573,” wherein All India Pre-Medical /Pre-Dental Entrance Test held on May 3, 2015 for Academic Session 2015-2016 (conducted by CBSE) was cancelled by the Apex Court as the examination was vitiated by the use of unfair means and malpractices.

The Supreme Court, while directing to conduct examination afresh, held

“…Even if one undeserving candidate, a beneficiary of such illegal machination, though undetected is retained in the process, it would be in denial of the claim of more deserving candidates…”

The petition alleged that unwanted malpractices in the NEET-2021 exam were not limited to a particular/individual region, but throughout the country with multiple FIRs having been filed against such illegal activities.

It is submitted that since the day of submission of the representation, requesting cancellation of NEET-UG 2021 held on September 12 and conduct of examination afresh, petitioner students have been receiving life threatening calls pressurizing them to remain silent and to not demand re-examination.

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“By way of the present petition, the innocent, deserving and meritorious students are being compelled to knock the doors of the Supreme Court, seeking a fair and equal opportunity of being tested for the purpose of admission to medical colleges,”

-the petition read.

On September 12, NEET-2021 exam was held across the country in accordance with the public notice dated July 13. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR in respect of NEET-UG 2021 examination paper leak incident.

On September 13, Rajasthan Police issued a press note, stating that at one of the centers for NEET 2021 in Jaipur, the question paper was leaked through WhatsApp to outsiders for being solved and then to be given to the students, who had paid consideration of about Rs 30-35 lakh.
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