Delhi HC Allows 14 NEET Aspirants to Physically Inspect Their OMR Sheets

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Fourteen NEET aspirants were allowed by the Delhi High Court to physically inspect their OMR sheets at the office of the National Testing Agency (NTA). This was pursuant to a Petition apprehending tampering with answer sheets. (Muskaan Sabharwal & Ors vs NTA & Ors).

Brief Facts

A Petition was preferred by fourteen aspirants to the court. The Petitioners, on October 5, 2020, uploaded their OMR sheets on the NTA website. It was later seen that the answers recorded in the OMR sheet did not tally with the actual answers recorded by them. Some aspirants found their OMR sheet to be blank.  Few observed that their score in the OMR was different from the score on the revised OMR sheet uploaded after two days.


It was seen that the number of attempted and unattempted questions were also not the same as their actual number. The Petitioners had first approached the Supreme Court by way of a Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The same was disposed of on 03.12.2020. It noted that the representations had been preferred by only a few of the petitioners. This was for the supply of the original OMR sheets for verification. The Supreme Court of India specified the NTA to consider the representations of the Petitioners to furnish the original OMR sheets. The Petitioners had grievances related to the procedure prescribed for challenging the answer key and OMR sheet. It was to be raised in a writ petition to be filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Contentions

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The Petitioners were traumatized by these discrepancies. Huge apprehension of tampering with answer sheets was felt by the Petitioners. They argued that there was no transparent and fair scrutiny in the matter. Thus, they would become victims of an unfair process of evaluation. They prayed that their original OMR sheets be furnished to them.  The Petitioners also challenged the process approved by NTA to challenge the OMR answer sheets.  The process required a payment of Rs 1,000 per question. Thus, the Petitioners asserted that the same was unreasonable, unjust, and irrational.


It was stated that the Petitioners and many other similarly placed students were shocked to learn that the answers recorded in the OMR sheets do not tally with the actual answers recorded by them. It was stated that there was a huge apprehension of tampering with the answer sheets.  Several details were set out in the Writ Petition. These details were the alleged differences in the OMR sheets put on the website and the score that should have been according to the Petitioners. It was also stated that the process to challenge the OMR answer sheets was arbitrary and unjust as a large amount was required to be paid per question.

Court’s Decision

Justice Jayant Nath formed the single Judge Bench for this case.  It allowed the aspirants to take photographs of the original OMR sheets.  In some matters, NTA itself had permitted physical inspection of the OMR Sheets and this was recorded in the Order. 

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Click here to view the judgment


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