Incorrect Answer Keys in NEET 2019: Medical Aspirants move Supreme Court
New Delhi: A group of medical aspirants have moved the Supreme Court claiming that the answer keys of four questions in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses, NEET 2019; were apparently incorrect and the paper needs to be quashed.
The National Testing Agency (NTA), the exam conducting body for NEET this year held the entrance exam throughout the country on 05 May, 2019 and on 20 May, 2019 for Cyclone Fani hit Odisha and Karnataka candidates who couldn’t appear for the examination on time due to the train delay for admission to MBBS/BDS Courses in India in Medical/Dental Colleges. The results were declared on June 5th 2019.
The NTA had released the answer keys prior to the announcement of NEET 2019 results. Now, claiming that the answer keys for a number of questions were wrong, the medical aspirants have moved the top court.
A vacation bench comprising honourable Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi agreed to hear the writ petition, which urged the top court to direct the quashing of the final answer key published on June 5. "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 were published subsequently. The petitioners have cited NCERT textbooks in their defence.
"...it is thus ex-facie evident that the whole exercise of the examination conducted by the respondent no. 1 (NTA) is grossly illegal, arbitrary and impinges upon the constitutional and fundamental rights of the Petitioners herein and is vitiated in terms of the law laid down by this Court", it said.
The plea said, "The respondents 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".
The students claim the error can potentially jeopardize prospects of lakhs of students, who had appeared for the test.