The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a writ petition filed by a group of six students alleging that their NEET-UG answer sheets were tampered with and manipulated by the National Testing Agency that conducts the examination.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna took on record the submission of the National Testing Agency (NTA) that after the students raised their grievances, they were called to its office and shown their original answer sheets and they have accepted that it was their answer sheet.
The bench noted that the original answer sheet bore the signature of the students and the invigilators and hence it cannot be said the NTA had engaged in tampering or manipulation of marks of any kind.
“It cannot be prima facie be suggested that there were any acts of tampering or manipulation in the back office of the National Testing Agency. The examination has been attempted by 15.44 lakh candidates, out of which six have come to this court. Five have verified their OMR sheet shown to them,” the bench said while dismissing the petitions.
The bench noted the submission of advocate Rupesh Kumar, appearing for the NTA, that there is only one answer sheet per candidate which is an OMR sheet and is available on their server.
According to the procedure, Kumar said, a copy of the answer sheet was sent to all the candidates on their registered email IDs, including the six candidates who have approached the court saying they have not received it.
During the hearing, the bench questioned the students on why the NTA would want to manipulate their results when it is ready to provide the originals.
Senior advocate Manoj Swarup, appearing for the students, said there was a glass partition and they were made to see the original sheets from the other side without even touching it.
“These OMR sheets can only be verified by touching it, which we were not allowed to do so”, he said. The bench, however, refused to agree with his contention and said it was a little far-fetched and was dismissing the petition.
Swarup said the NTA has admitted the entire database of the examination was transferred to a third agency and hence there was a possibility of tinkering with the marks of these students.
The students have claimed there was a considerable difference of marks calculated as per the answer key published by the NTA and their final marks declared on November 1, last year.