NEET-UG: Examinees, kin among 13 arrested so far in question paper leak case

Investigation into the "paper leak" was handed over to the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police on Friday, 10 May, they said.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 11, 2024 | 7:52 PMUpdatedMay 11, 2024 | 7:52 PM

NEET exam

The Bihar Police have so far arrested 13 people, including four examinees and their family members, in connection with the alleged question paper leak of the NEET-UG held on 5 May, officials said.

Investigation into the “paper leak” was handed over to the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police on Friday, 10 May, they said.

“The case was being investigated by a special team of the Patna Police till now. A total of 13 people, including four examinees and their family members, have been arrested so far. Besides, one of the arrested accused is also involved in the Bihar Public Service Commission’s (BPSC) Teachers Recruitment Exam (TRE)-3 paper leak case,” an EOU release said.

“All the accused are in judicial custody and EOU sleuths will start their custodial interrogation. Police have already seized incriminating documents and electronic devices from the possession of the accused. Investigations so far have revealed that the question papers of NEET-UG and their answers were provided to around 35 aspirants before the May 5 exam,” it said.

Further investigation is underway, the release added.

Also Read: NEET UG paper leak: NTA calls reports baseless; Congress attacks BJP

Alleged leak

A day after the exam, on 6 May, the National Testing Agency (NTA) clarified that the reports claiming question paper leak in the medical entrance exam NEET-UG are “completely baseless and without any ground”.

Several social media posts alleged the question paper was leaked. The NTA, however, denied any possibility of a leak.

The NTA had on Sunday, 5 May, claimed that the distribution of wrong question papers at an exam centre in Rajasthan led to some candidates walking out with the papers. The agency had denied any leak of the question paper.

“The integrity of the examination process was not compromised. The exam was later reconducted for the 120 affected candidates at the centre,” Parashar had said on Sunday.

According to NTA sources, some candidates were distributed question papers in languages other than their choice of medium which prompted them to walk out of the centre.

“During the NEET-UG examination, it came to attention that at one exam centre, Girls Higher Secondary Model School, Mantown, Sawai Madhopur, there was an incident of incorrect distribution of question papers by the centre superintendent. Despite efforts by invigilators to prevent it, some candidates left the exam centre with the question papers,” Parashar said.

“In order to uphold the principles of fairness and equal opportunity for all candidates, the NTA has taken proactive measures. The examination of approximately 120 affected candidates at the centre is being conducted again, ensuring that their academic aspirations are not hindered by this incident,” she added.

NEET-UG 2024

This year, a record 24 lakh candidates registered for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – Undergraduate (NEET-UG), of which over 10 lakh were male students, over 13 lakh were girls and 24 students registered under the third gender category.

Region-wise, Uttar Pradesh had registered the highest number of candidates at 3,39,125, followed by Maharashtra at 2,79,904 and Rajasthan at 1,96,139. Tamil Nadu saw 1,55,216 registrations and Karnataka 1,54,210.

In 2023, a total of 20,87,449 candidates had registered for NEET-UG and the exam was held on May 7. The NTA had recorded 97.7 percent attendance in the exam.

The entrance exam was conducted on Sunday at 4,750 centres in 571 cities including 14 cities abroad.

(With PTI inputs)