NEET-UG 2024: From Leaks to Demands for Cancellation — A Complete Timeline of Legal Battles

NEET-UG 2024: The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)-UG 2024, a vital exam for medical aspirants in India, has faced significant controversy. Allegations of question paper leaks, the awarding of “grace marks,” and concerns over exam integrity have led to a series of legal battles reaching the Supreme Court.
During the hearing on July 8, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud stated that ordering a re-test for nearly 24 lakh students would be a last resort.Many of these aspirants, he noted, come from poor families and cannot afford the additional travel expenses unless absolutely necessary. Here’s a comprehensive timeline of events that have unfolded so far:
May 5, 2024: The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducts the NEET-UG exam for over 24 lakh students across 4,750 centers in 571 cities, including 14 abroad.
May 17, 2024: A petition alleging irregularities in the exam reaches the Supreme Court. The petition raises concerns about a possible question paper leak.
June 4, 2024: The much-awaited NEET-UG results are declared, raising eyebrows amidst an unusually high number of toppers (67 students). Additionally, reports surface about the award of “grace marks” to a specific group of students, further fueling suspicion.
June 8, 2024: Discontent with the results spills onto the streets as students and parents protest across the country. Demands for a re-test and re-evaluation gain momentum.
June 10, 2024: The controversy intensifies as multiple petitions are filed in the Supreme Court, urging a fresh examination due to alleged irregularities. Political leaders also join the chorus, demanding a thorough investigation.
June 11, 2024: Taking cognizance of the situation, the Supreme Court issues a notice to the NTA and the Central Government, seeking their response on the allegations surrounding the exam. The court acknowledges the potential compromise of the exam’s sanctity.
June 13, 2024: In a significant development, the Supreme Court orders a re-examination for the 1,563 students who received “grace marks.” The court emphasizes the need to uphold fairness and transparency in the selection process.
June 14, 2024: The Education Minister vehemently denies allegations of corruption surrounding the exam, asserting the integrity of the process. However, the government agrees to cooperate with the ongoing investigations.
June 15, 2024: Amidst the ongoing controversy, a new petition is filed in the Supreme Court, demanding a re-evaluation of all answer sheets to ensure a level playing field.
June 17, 2024: The Education Minister concedes to irregularities in the exam, acknowledging a lapse in security protocols. This admission further fuels public outrage.
June 18, 2024: The Supreme Court defers its decision on whether to order a CBI probe into the alleged malpractices and paper leaks. The court also considers the NTA’s plea to consolidate all NEET-related petitions under its jurisdiction.
June 19, 2024: In a separate development, the University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET), another crucial exam conducted by the NTA, faces cancellation due to concerns over its integrity. This incident further raises questions about the functioning of the NTA.
June 20, 2024: The Supreme Court directs Bihar and Gujarat police to submit a detailed report on the investigation into the alleged NEET-UG paper leak. Notably, the court refrains from ordering a nationwide re-test for all students, acknowledging the potential hardship it would cause.
July 8, 2024: The Supreme Court continues its crucial hearing on the NEET-UG controversy. The Chief Justice emphasizes that a re-test for nearly 24 lakh students would be a last resort, highlighting the financial burden it would place on families. The court emphasizes the need for a thorough investigation and a full-disclosure report before reaching a final decision.
July 11, 2024 (as of today): The Supreme Court is scheduled to hold its next hearing on the NEET-UG matter. The fate of the exam and the future of lakhs of medical aspirants hangs in the balance.

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