The Supreme Court will hear the petition filed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for the declaration of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) result which had earlier been put on hold by the Madras High Court. Already there has been a considerable delay in the declaration of the results owing to the petitions pending before the Madras and Gujarat High Courts, leaving the fate of 12 lakh students in the dark. An apex court vacation bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Deepak Gupta will also hear the plea for the transfer of the NEET cases pending in the Madras and Gujarat High Courts.
Around 10.5 lakh students appeared for the exam in either Hindi or English while around 1.25 lakh to 1.50 lakh students appeared in eight vernacular languages. The Madras High Court questioned the CBSE about the uniformity of the question paper of NEET which was held on May 7,2017. The high court granted a stay order on the publication of NEET results on May 24 ,based on a batch of pleas which alleged that the question paper which was in English was easier than the one which was in Tamil.
The CBSE approached SC on June 9, seeking an immediate stay on the Madras High Court order restraining the publication of NEET 2017 results for admission to MBBS and BDS courses across the country. Besides the CBSE, two students have also moved the Supreme Court to challenge the May 24 order. There was apprehension of loss of one semester in the MBBS courses due to delay in admissions. There are 56,000 MBBS/BDS seats across the country, said petitioners Namita Sibal and Apoorva Atul Joshi, who are represented by lawyer Vivek Singh. While Apoorva has herself appeared in NEET’s undergraduate court exam 2017, Namita Sibal is the mother of another NEET candidate. 16 parents have sent representations to to the board not to re-conduct the exam.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, representing the CBSE,told that the level of difficulty was kept the same for all the papers. He said that questions were different keeping the larger interest in mind because if there was a leakage of a set of paper in a vernacular language, that won’t result in cancellation of other papers as candidates appearing in any particular language were less than those opting for English or Hindi.