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Supreme Court Issues Notice on Plea Seeking Cancellation of NEET-UG 2024 Counselling Process

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA) and others in response to a plea seeking the cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 counselling cum seat allotment process, which is set to begin on July 6.

The plea sought to defer the commencement of counselling for two days until July 8, when the apex court is scheduled to hear a batch of pleas, including those seeking the cancellation of the NEET-UG exam. However, the court declined the request, stating that halting the seat allotment process may result in an irreparable loss of time, as the first phase of counselling will extend for a week.

The vacation bench, presided over by Justice Vikram Nath and S.V.N. Bhatti, ordered that the respondents NTA and Union of India file their response within two weeks, and other respondents file their response before the next date fixed. The matter will be taken up for hearing on July 8. The Supreme Court has previously stated that it would not pass any interim direction to stay the admission counselling process to medical programmes pursuant to the NEET examination amid allegations of paper leaks and other irregularities.

The plea filed through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava referenced a 2015 judgment where the apex court had cancelled the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) due to mass cheating and multiple irregularities. The plea emphasized that similar indulgence of the court is sought in the case of NEET-UG 2024, as the allegations are much graver and more serious.

The petition stated that it would be in the interest of justice, equity, fairness, and the future of about 24 lakh young students to cancel the NEET-UG exam forthwith, stay counselling cum seat allotment process set to commence from July 6, and re-conduct it.

The writ petition filed before the apex court highlighted statements recorded by the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police, where accused persons stated that the question paper was leaked and provided to a few candidates a day before the actual examination date, and that the leaked question paper was identical to the NEET-UG 2024 question paper actually provided to them. The matter is scheduled for further hearing on July 8.

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