The Supreme Court, today, dismissed two petitions filed by doctors who appeared in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Postgraduate) ('NEET-PG') exam 2021 and 2022 seeking directions to the National Board of Examination to release the answer key and question paper and to allow the option of rechecking/revaluation in case of discrepancy in scores.

A writ petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution against the National Board of Examination and others for not releasing the answer keys and question papers for NEET-PG 2022 alleging that there are serious discrepancies in the scores of the candidates who appeared for NEET-PG 2021 and NEET-PG 2022.

The Vacation Bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said, "These petitions have been rendered infructuous with the passage of time. In case the Petitioners still have a grievance with respect to the NEET exam of undergraduate or postgraduate held in the year 2024, they may assail it on admissible grounds. The Petitions are dismissed."

AOR Dr Charu Mathur and Advocate Avani Bansal appeared for the Petitioners.

Mathur submitted, "This matter pertains to NEET-PG 2021. But the immediate urgency is that on June 23, 2024, we are having NEET-PG, 2024."

Justice Nath said, "Why should we keep this petition pending for years, it will survive through eternity. It has become totally infructuous, we will dismiss it...You want to challenge the present examination, you challenge it...Why should we entertain these petitions now?"

Advocate Bansal said, "The concern is, NEET-UG since it started...are following a set of guidelines totally against the guidelines set by this Court. The concern is they are allowing us the access of answer keys, answer sheets, question papers, or even the option..."

The Petitioners were doctors who had completed their MBBS degree and were registered under the State Medical Council. The Petition stated, "Respondent No.1 has not given any option to the Petitioners to take out their answer sheet, to verify their answer sheet, to raise any objection in the question which is arbitrary, illegal, capricious and against the fundamental right of Petitioners to access their answer sheet...Not only that, Respondent No.1 clearly mentioned in the information bulletin that neither they will share any content of the examination including answer keys/answer sheets, publish any question paper, nor will they entertain any request for re-evaluation or rechecking or re-totalling of responses marked by the candidates."

Further, the Petition stated, "NEET-UG has provision to show and challenge the answer key and but not NEET-PG. This act raises the question of discrimination and lack of intelligible differentia on part of Respondent No.1, and therefore violative of Art. 14 of the Indian Constitution...Recently Respondent No.1 had mixed the answer sheets of approximately 48 candidates, as a result of which three candidates who did actually pass were shown as failed. The said discrepancy came to light when a failed candidate filed a RTI application and got his answer sheet."

Accordingly, the Petitions were dismissed.

Cause Title: Ayush Patel And Ors. v. National Board Of Examination and Ors. (W.P.(C)No. 1355/2021) and Pritish Kumar And Ors. Versus National Board Of Examination and Ors. (W.P.(C) No. 591/2022)