NEET 2020: Delhi HC issues notice to NTA, Education Ministry, MCC on plea alleging discrepancies in OMR sheets

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA), Education Ministry and Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) on a plea alleging discrepancies in the Optical Mark Recognition sheets (OMR sheets) of the candidates who appeared in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Undergraduate (UG) exam 2020.

A single-judge bench of Justice Jayant Nath asked the respondent to file a reply on the plea and listed the matter for January 8, 2021 for further hearing.

The court was hearing a plea filed by 14 students represented by Senior Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan and Advocate Tanvi Dubey.

The petitioners’ advocate told the court that there were instances of tampering with NEET 2020 OMR answer sheets including blank OMR, wrong roll number, incorrect bar code and two different scores for the same candidate on two different dates.

Petitioners filed the petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to bring to the notice of this court the grave and serious problems faced by the petitioners and similarly placed students in view of the Optical Mark Recognition sheets (OMR sheets) which were uploaded on the website of the respondent NTA on October 5, 2020 and further in view of the circular dated 27.09.2020 and 05.10.2020, issued by the respondent NTA inter alia providing for the process to challenge the OMR sheet and the answer key.

The plea has also directed NTA to provide the original OMR sheets of the petitioners, on an urgent basis and within the timeframe. It has sought to quash and set aside the notice dated 27.09.2020 issued by the National Testing Authority inter alia providing for the procedure to challenge the answer key.

It also sought to quash and set aside the Notice dated 05.10.2020 issued by the National Testing Authority inter alia providing for the procedure to challenge the OMR sheets.

It also sought to direct the respondent to accommodate the petitioners on the basis of the scrutiny to be done after receiving the original OMR sheets of the petitioners and to constitute a high powered committee to examine the complaints regarding the tampering of the OMR sheets of the petitioners, so as to ensure transparency in the evaluation process. It also sought to direct the respondent to issue appropriate regulations to ensure free, fair and smooth process of evaluation.

It is most humbly submitted that the petitioners by way of the present petition seeks intervention of this Hon’ble Court in order to ensure transparency in the process of evaluation.

The petitioner said on October 5, when the OMR sheets were uploaded on the website of the NTA, instantaneous reactions came in from the petitioners and many other similarly placed students who were shocked to learn that the answers recorded in the OMR sheets do not tally with the actual answers recorded by them and thus there was a huge apprehension of tampering with the answer sheets.

The petitioners were “traumatised after witnessing the discrepancies in the OMR sheets” and made umpteen efforts to reach the respondent in order to convey that the evaluation ought to be conducted on the basis of their original OMR sheets and not the “tampered one”.

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