Delhi HC seeks NTA’s stand on plea concerning NEET answer key

The plea said the results were arbitrary and based on unfair grace marks given to various candidates, without the application of mind.


Published Jun 07, 2024 | 7:32 PMUpdatedJun 07, 2024 | 7:32 PM

Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Friday, 7 June, sought the National Testing Agency’s (NTA) stand on a petition filed by an NEET-UG candidate raising a grievance regarding a question that had two correct answers in the answer key.

A vacation bench of Justice DK Sharma asked the NTA’s counsel to seek instructions on the petition, which has prayed that equal marks should be awarded to those who did not attempt the question as has been done for those who attempted either of the two correct answers.

The petition has said the principle of fairness in a competitive examination mandates that all candidates should be evaluated on an equal footing and alleged that the authorities compromised the fairness by awarding marks to two correct options when the instructions had clearly indicated that only one option was correct.

Also Read: DK Shivakumar questions BJP, NTA over alleged irregularities in NEET UG-2024

The petition

In order to avoid a negative impact on her score, the 17-year-old petitioner chose not to attempt the question and scored 633 out of 720 marks, with a total percentile of around 98 and an all-India rank close to 44,700 in the entrance examination, the plea has said.

The petitioner has said a single mark can significantly alter her all-India rank and therefore, sought a direction to the NTA to correct and re-publish the NEET-UG 2024 results, ranks and percentiles based on the revised marks.

“On 03.06.2024, the respondent published the final answer key. It was observed that for question no. 29 of Test Booklet Code R5, both options 2 and 4 were considered correct, contrary to the instructions that stated only one option could be correct,” the petition has said.

“Not awarding marks in the case of a wrong question and forcing candidates to mark one, in the case of a question having two correct answers, is antithetical to the instruction that only one answer shall be right. It is submitted that it is extremely arbitrary for the respondent to expect candidates to attempt a wrong question when there is negative marking and each mark can make a difference of hundreds of ranks, if not thousands,” it has added.

The plea has further said the results declared by the authorities were arbitrary and based on unfair grace marks given to various candidates, without the application of mind.

“After the publication of the final result, it was identified that 67 candidates achieved a perfect score (720/720). However, trends prior to 2024 present a significantly different picture,” the plea has said.

The matter will be heard next week.

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