Delhi High Court dismisses plea challenging NEET 2016 answer keys

It seems like the confusions, paper leak and other issues will continue to hover over the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) conducted this year.

In a recent statement, while rejecting the a petition challenging the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) answer keys released on August 8, the High Court of Delhi said that it cannot review answer keys prepared by subject experts.

Who filed the petition?

  • The petition was filed by Sagar Sanjeev Dua challenging the answers of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to five questions of NEET
  • Students who appeared for the examination earlier pointed out three questions, two under the Chemistry section and one under the Biology section, that are allegedly marked wrongly in the answer key
  • While commenting on the answer keys, Rajesh Jain, from the Parents’ Association for Medical Students (PAMS), in recent HT report said, “A student is awarded four marks for every correct answer and a negative mark for every wrong one. Looking at the bulk of students who have pointed out the same mistakes, looks like CBSE will have to take this into consideration”
  • Students are hoping for a positive reaction from the authorities, Rajesh Jain added

Details of the judgment:

  • While speaking in this case, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said that it cannot take over the task of correcting the answer set as they are prepared by independent subject experts
  • “In view of the above, I am not inclined to exercise powers under Article 226 of the Constitution and to examine the questions and the answer key set by the respondents (CBSE and others) and even to return a prima facie finding that the contention of the petitioner (that) the answers given by the petitioner are correct or the answers given by the respondents are incorrect,” Justice Sachdeva added
  • “The question paper is from physics, chemistry and biology. For a court to assess and examine even, prima facie, whether the answers are correct or incorrect, would be beyond the competence of a court, which may not be an expert in the said subjects,” the bench said

Further, the court said, the information bulletin for NEET-2016 also specified that there was no provision for rejecting or re-evaluating the answer sheets.

Not only this, the court also cited a judgement of the Supreme Court where it was mentioned that the court cannot take upon itself the task of statutory authorities and is not permitted to take upon itself the task of examiner and examine the discrepancies in the question paper and evaluation process.