HC Seeks Response From NTA On NEET 2024 Candidate’s Claim Of Torn OMR Sheet

HC Seeks Response From NTA On NEET 2024 Candidate’s Claim Of Torn OMR Sheet: The Delhi High Court bench has requested the National Testing Agency (NTA) to clarify its position regarding a plea by a 19-year-old NEET candidate who is seeking grace marks due to receiving a damaged OMR sheet.

A High Court (HC) bench led by Justice C Hari Shankar has issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the Central Government, directing them to preserve the original Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet of a candidate. An OMR sheet used in exams is a pre-printed, secure document containing personal information such as the candidate’s name and date of birth.

The court has scheduled a hearing for the case on July 8, 2024. Meanwhile, it has ordered the preservation of the petitioner’s original OMR sheet, as mentioned in the court order dated May 20, 2024, reported by PTI.

The petitioner claimed that during the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 examination on May 5, she discovered that the seal cover, the first page of the physics question paper, and the OMR sheet were torn vertically.

She stated that after about a 30-minute delay, she was given a new question paper and OMR sheet, but only received 10 extra minutes to complete her exam.

The petition claimed that she was disadvantaged due to the NTA’s actions, as she was without a fresh OMR sheet for approximately 30 minutes, and eventually received it and a new question paper after an “unreasonable delay.”

She contended that she had already answered 60 questions on the original question paper and struggled to focus and complete the new question paper properly.

“The petitioner is severely prejudiced because of the actions of Respondent No.1, as she was not treated equally with the other candidates due to the events in the examination hall. She was not given the same opportunity to complete the paper as other examinees, as her OMR sheet was torn,” the petition stated.

“In light of the foregoing facts and circumstances, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to… Issue a writ of declaration or any appropriate writ, order, or direction to direct Respondent No.1 to grant grace marks to the Petitioner,” the plea urged the court.

Patna police sources previously claimed that the NEET-UG question papers and their answers were provided to about 20 aspirants a day before the exam date, May 5, 2024.

The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police, which took over the investigation, revealed that brokers involved in the NEET paper leak scam charged between Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh from each medical aspirant in exchange for providing the NEET UG 2024 question paper before the examination.

Recently, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed before the Patna High Court demanding the cancellation of the exam and seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the paper leak scam. The Supreme Court is also considering a similar plea regarding the NEET paper leak scam. However, the Apex Court bench refused to stay the exam results.

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