The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the decision to give grace marks to 1,563 NEET-UG, 2024 candidates for admission to MBBS, BDS, and other courses has been cancelled. They will be given an option to take a retest on June 23.

The counsel for the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) told a vacation bench of justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta that students who were given grace marks would be given the option to retest.

The court said the counselling process for admissions will not be continued.

If the 1,563 candidates do not wish to take the retest, their earlier marks, sans the grace marks, will be used to calculate the results.

The retest results will be declared on June 30, and the centre said counselling for admission in the MBBS, BDS, and other courses will start on July 6.

Taking note of the submissions, the bench said all the pleas, including the one filed by Alakh Pandey, the chief executive of EdTech firm Physics Wallah over the award of grace marks, will be taken up for hearing on July 8.

They also include the petitions seeking to cancel NEET-UG, 2024, on account of an allegation of question paper leaks and other malpractices.

The NTA held the examination on May 5 across 4,750 centres, and around 24 lakh candidates took it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets was completed earlier.

The allegations, such as the leak of question papers and the grant of grace marks to over 1,500 medical aspirants, have led to protests and the filing of cases in seven high courts and the Supreme Court.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA’s history, with six from a centre in Haryana’s Faridabad figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities.

Scores of students protested in Delhi on June 10, seeking a probe into alleged irregularities. Grace marks, it has been alleged, contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

The NTA conducts the NEET-UG examination for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other courses related to government and private institutions across the country.