Supreme Court refuses to nullify NEET 2017 examination
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to nullify the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 exam as it believed that it would come as a jolt to more than six lakh candidates who have qualified the test to get admission in medical and dental courses.
The judge-bench, led by Justice Dipak Misra, said that disturbing the NEET result would be "very difficult" as around 6.11 lakh students, out of 11.35 lakh candidates, have managed to clear the examination and the counselling process was already on.
"We cannot pass an interim order like this. The admission process must continue. There are over six lakh students," the bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and MM Shantanagoudar, said.
"In any case, it is very difficult to disturb the result," the bench asserted while turning down the the submission of the petitioners who claimed that the candidates in Andhra Pradesh received three three sets of question papers in the exam.
The petitioners sought an order to nullify the NEET 2017 and holding of the examination afresh.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who represented the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in the apex court, opposed the demand saying apart from English and Hindi, the examination was conducted in eight vernacular languages for the very first time.
"The level of difficulty of questions were the same in all the languages. We will put it in affidavit that there were two sets of question papers. Around 1.48 lakh candidates have given the exam in vernacular languages and it was to avoid leakage of question papers," Singh told the bench.
The petitioners had claimed in the court that the all-India ranking was giving to the candidates in the NEET exam which suggests that every candidate should get the same set of questions.
"What has been done is completely unlawful. How can there be all-India ranking when students are given different sets of question papers," the counsel asked.
The SC bench, however, said that it would first prefer going through CBSE's affidavit and asked the board to submit it with the court in next three days.
Citing an order of the top court on June 12, the counsel for the petitioners said that the declaration of result and admission should be subject to the decision in the matter pending before it.
In reply, the court said, "The order is there. We are not vacating it. We will not pass any order today".
The bench has decided July 31 as the next date of hearing in the matter.