Grace marks given to 1563 NEET candidates withdrawn: Centre to SC

NEW DELHI — The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the decision to give grace marks to 1,563 NEET-UG, 2024 candidates for admission to MBBS, BDS and others courses has been cancelled and they will be given an option to take a re-test on June 23.

A vacation bench of justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta was told by the counsel for the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) that the students, who were given grace marks, will be given an option to take the re-test.

The court said it will not stay the counselling process for admissions.

If the candidates, out of the 1,563, do not wish to take up the retest then their earlier marks, sans the grace marks, will be given for the purposes of the results.

The results of the re-test will be declared on June 30 and the counselling for admission in the MBBS, BDS, other courses will start on July 6, the Centre said.

Taking note of the submissions, the bench said all the pleas, including the one filed by Alakh Pandey, the chief executive of EdTech firm Physics Wallah over the issue of award of grace marks, will be taken up for hearing on July 8.

They also include the petitions seeking cancellation of NEET-UG, 2024 on account of allegation of question paper leaks and other malpractices.

The examination was held by the NTA on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates took it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets got completed earlier.

The allegations such as question paper leak and the grant of grace marks to over 1,500 medical aspirants have led to protests and filing of cases in seven high courts as also the Supreme Court.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA’s history, with six from a centre in Haryana’s Faridabad figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities.

Scores of students protested in Delhi on June 10 seeking a probe into alleged irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

The NEET-UG examination is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country. — (PTI)