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We sympathise, but cannot order re-examination: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday set aside a Bombay High Court order which directed the National Testing Agency (NTA) to hold re-examination for two National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) candidates, saying “we sympathise, but cannot order re-examination”.

It was claimed that the students’ test booklets and OMR sheets had gotten mixed up due to the carelessness of invigilators.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for NTA, submitted that answers of the students will be matched with the correct question booklets and added that if the direction to conduct NEET UG re-exam is provided, it will become a pattern.
The Centre told the top court that every year students will come forward and seek a re-exam for one mistake or the other.
The counsel appearing for students contended that they lost precious time during the exam due to the mix up and could not answer all questions.
However, a bench of justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai said the court sympathises with the students and completely understands their plight, but cannot order re-examination for them.
The Centre had moved the top court against the high court. In the previous hearing, the apex court had stayed the Bombay High Court order, which held up declaration of results.
The high court had directed the NTA to conduct re-exam for two candidates by conducting a separate NEET examination before declaration of results.
The top court said: “Though we sympathise with the cause of the two students. We find it difficult to order the re-examination of the two students. Thus, we set aside the direction of the high court to conduct a fresh exam.”
The students had claimed that their test booklets and OMR sheets got mixed up during the NEET exam.
The top court noted, “We feel sorry for the students… but cannot hold a re-examination.”
On October 28, the Supreme Court stayed the Bombay High Court order on NEET re exam for two candidates, paving the way for declaration of results of over 16 lakh students who took the exam.
The NTA had moved the top court stating the result was being delayed due to the high court order.
The top court had said “we cannot hold up the results of 16 lakh students…”
The bench told the petitioner’s counsel “stay and notice… we will decide what happens to the two students upon re-opening (after Diwali vacation)…”
The bench noted that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central government, has said that whatever confusion is there, it will be rectified.
“You are talking about your clients but not considering the lakhs of students who are waiting for the results”, the bench told the petitioner’s counsel.

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