SC sets aside Madras HC order granting 196 marks to candidates

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the Madras High Court judgement granting 196 marks to each of the 24,000 candidates who took NEET-UG exam in Tamil language as some of the questions were wrongly translated.

Setting aside the judgement by which the court gave four marks each for 49 questions, the bench of Justice S.A. Bonbde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao said the “method adopted by the High Court is manifestly arbitrary and unjustified and cannot be sustained.”

The court directed that from “the year 2019-20 onwards, the NEET-UG Examination would be conducted by the National Testing Agency and the bilingual exam will be conducted after the question paper is translated” as per the instruction mentioned in the October 22 affidavit filed by the Director, NTA.

The court noted that out of 13,23,672 lakh students, who appeared for the exam, approximately 10.5 lakh took it in English, around 1.5 lakh chose a regional languages and of these, nearly 24,000 took the exam in Tamil language.

The court said the list of the candidates who appeared for NEET-UG in Tamil after adding 196 marks to each one of them is “startling”.

“For instance, a student who got 260 marks has been awarded a total of 456 marks. Even students who got 21 marks are entitled to 217 marks”, the court noted.

“It is clear the High Court lost sight of the primary duty in such matter that is to avoid arbitrary results”, the judgment pronounced by Justice Bobde said.

“The High Court has made no attempt to see whether the students have in fact attempted answers to the questions, which were claimed to be imperfectly translated.”

The top court order came on a plea by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) challenging the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court judgement on July 10 awarding the additional marks.

The High Court’s order was in response to a PIL by Communist Party of India-Marxist leader T.K. Rangarajan.

The top court had stayed the operation of the High Court order on July 20.