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Supreme Court Demands NTA Disclosure On…

On Monday, the National Testing Agency (NTA) was directed by the Supreme Court to provide complete disclosures into three significant facets of the NEET-UG paper leak case.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud ordered that the examination body NTA make disclosures on when the question paper leak took place, how the papers were leaked and the time duration between the occurrence of the paper leak and the actual conduct of the NEET-UG examination on May 5. 

The top court was hearing pleas related to the controversy-ridden NEET-UG 2024, including those alleging irregularities and malpractices in the test and seeking a direction to conduct it afresh.

The Supreme Court bench said that since the probe has been entrusted to the Central Bureau of Investigation, a status report must be filed by the investigating officer to the court indicating status of investigation from the material that has come to light. 

“The IO shall in particular place before court material that has bearing on when the leak took place and modalities by which ques papers were made available,” the court ruled. 

The top court ordered that the NTA make disclosure with regard to steps taken to identify the beneficiaries of paper leak. 

The court also asked Centre and the NTA whether it is feasible to use data analytics either within Cyber Forensics unit or any expert agency to be employed by the government to identify suspect cases.

“If this is possible, authorities shall identify the modalities to be followed so as to segregate tainted from untainted,” the CJI-headed bench said. 

“We also require disclosure on modalities to be followed between conclusion of exam, including retest held for 1563 students and the actual commencement of counselling process. If exercise to be conducted by NTA to identify further beneficiaries of leak, what is to be done on status of counselling,” the bench said.

While dictating the order, the top court asked for measures to be taken to preserve the sanctity of NEET examination so that such incidents could be avoided in the future. 

The Centre may consider a multi-disciplinary committee to ensure measures are taken to obviate such instances in future, the court said.

“If such a committee constituted, details of it be furnished and whether the scope of committee be efficiently enhanced to have a pool of talent on administration but domain expertise,” the court added. 

The court has asked that the reports be tabled by Wednesday, July 10. 

“The affidavits will be shared with petitioners. Report of CBI be also placed on record in the meantime,” the court said.

 “Let there be confidence in the community,” CJI Chandrachud said. The next hearing will take place on July 11.

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Source: HT

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