NEET 2021 Candidates allege discrepancy in OMR sheets, results: Supreme Court issues notice
New Delhi: Claiming that there is something wrong on the part of the National Testing Agency, which contributed to the rigging of OMR sheets after the publication of answer keys, 6 NEET candidates have recently approached the Supreme Court.
While considering the plea alleging widespread discrepancies in NTA's scoring process, the top court bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna has issued notice on the matter, which would now be heard on December 13, 2021.
The candidates have claimed that even though they counted their marks to be much higher as per the published OMR sheets and the answer keys, the NTA scorecard and rank list has been in severe contradiction to that.
The students have further alleged that there is something seriously wrong in NTA's system and that can only be addressed if an investigation is conducted against the agency.
However, a senior NTA official has allegedly denied any flaws in their system while speaking to Indian Express.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, the plea, filed through Advocate on Record Ranjan Kumar Singh, has challenged the marks and ranks secured by the 6 petitioners who had appeared for NEET-UG 2021 examination.
The counsels for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Manoj Swarup with Rajan Kumar Singh (AOR) and Rakesh kumar Singh, pointed towards the huge difference between the marks that the students had calculated on the basis of the answer keys published by NTA and the final marks declared by the agency on November 1, 2021.
As per the plea, one of the 6 petitioners had allegedly calculated his score to be 584 as per the answer key. However, the final result showed he had secured a total number of 164 only.
Another petitioner alleged that his score was 675 as per the answer key but the final scorecard showed the marks to be 52 only. Same is the case of another petitioner, who calculated his marks to be 545 and secured only a zero in the final results.
"It appears that to be massive rigging in the screening of the OMR sheet soon after the publication of the answer keys and consequent uploading of OMR sheet for self assessment and before the actual declaration of result and score card on NTA's website which has resulted in glaring discrepancy in the marks obtained by the petitioners," the plea stated as per Live Law.
The students have referred to comparative tabulation of marks and have also argued that it is "manifestly evident" that there has been a huge margin in the scores they got.
Thus, the students have alleged that there must be something severely wrong in NTA's system which requires investigation. At this outset, they have also referred to the news of question paper leaks and alleged criminal conspiracies for sabotaging the fair process of exam, as mentioned in several FIRs.
These initial investigations in these FIRs revealed that there were rampant use of unscrupulous means and unfair practices so that results can be manipulated for the benefit of rich candidates who lacked merit.
"There are malpractices and corrupt practices which are undergoing on at the levels which the innocent, deserving and meritorious petitioners cannot imagine which has resulted in arbitrariness and rejection of meritorious candidates and as such is violative of their rights under Article 14 of the Constitution of India," stated the Plea.
Meanwhile, while commenting on the matter, the father of one of the petitioners told Indian Express, "The two OMRs – one that we received on mail and the other that we saw in the NTA office – do not match. We asked the agency for a carbon copy but they said it will take around 2 months for the same."
"I was devastated on looking at my scorecard. When I checked the OMR sheet, I noticed that no answers were encircled in the answer sheet, whereas I had attempted the questions that I knew the answers to. Based on answer keys, I was expecting a score of around 545 marks," another candidate hailing from Mumbai told the daily.
"I had used the black pen that the NTA had provided at the exam centres. Besides, my personal details such as name, application number etc were mentioned on the OMR, but how could the sheet be blank? If I wanted to leave it blank then why would I appear again this year?" he added.
Another candidate from Chhattishgarh, who wrote the exam in Kota said, "I have scored 683 marks. Based on the cut-off, my rank should be around 5,000 whereas my declared rank is 7,025. In competitive exams such as NEET, even a difference of 5 ranks can cost you a good college. My classmate, who studied with me in Kota, has got 682 marks and his rank is under 5,000."
"I am aiming for AFMC, Pune. Hence I will have to undergo a different selection process as I fulfil the criteria of minimum required marks. But, if I fail to get admission there then my chances of getting a good college are minuscule," he added.
NTA has, however, denied any such flaws in its system. On the condition of anonymity, an NTA official told Indian Express, "Our systems are foolproof. Such malpractices are not possible. Students often are so stressed and burdened because of the pressure that they end up lying to their parents about their performance. Then, these parents start filing complaints and moving the courts with PILs."