The first bench of CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli passed the interim order while admitting an appeal moved by the National Testing Agency (NTA) challenging the HC order.
Rejecting a plea made by counsel for the candidate that he may be permitted to attend the counselling, the court said: “How will we allow you to participate in the counselling? If they lower the cut-off, you can participate. If we allow with 92 marks to appear in counselling, there are other students who are also SC, OBC candidates, who must be allowed. This can’t be permitted.”
When the appeal came up for hearing on November 18, NTA submitted T Udhayakumar has secured 92 marks against the cut-off of 93. Though the agency admitted that the answer provided for the particular question was wrong, it pointed out that the candidate did not attempt the question. “The clause 3.2(b)(vi) of the Information Bulletin for the NEET-UG 2022, states that if a question is found to be incorrect or the question is dopped, then four marks will be awarded to all those who have attempted the question,” the agency said.
As per the rule, grace marks can be given to only those candidates who have attempted to answer the question, it added. Concurring with the submissions, the court directed the candidate to file his counter and passed the interim stay against the high court order. In its order dated October 19, the HC had observed that ‘the NTA cannot refuse to award four grace makes to the candidate who belongs to the weaker section’.