The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday ruled there would be no re-conduct of the Pre Medical Entrance Test (PMET-2015). The exam was conducted by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot. The court, however, asked the varsity to revise the merit list of the May 17 examination and directed it to allow students to carry the exam papers outside the hall in the future.
While turning down the demand of petitioners for a retest, the high court bench of justice RK Jain stated that court was fully satisfied with the exhaustive averments, supported by documentary evidence, made in the reply furnished by the university (on validity of exam).
"The examination cannot be re-conducted on the mere ipsi dixit (unproven statement) of the petitioners…otherwise, the court would tread on a dangerous path in case the examination of such a magnitude and importance is ordered to be cancelled only on the basis of mere allegations," justice Jain said in his judgment.
The court also ruled out demand of sending the question paper to third-party experts, stating there was no "reasonable cause" to seek another expert opinion "I am also not relying upon the expert report of the petitioners as against the exhaustive report(s) furnished by university experts whose credentials have been established on record," the high court said. The court also took note of the submissions by university counsel senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who had argued that main objective of petitioners was to seek re-examination because they had not fared well in the examination and had supplied PMET ranking of the petitioners.
"The NCERT books are not the only source of reliance/knowledge for the students who are taking up such a competitive exam for the purpose of admission to an MBBS course," the high court bench said while negating the argument of petitioners that NCERT books were "standard books" for the exam.
The high court bench has asked the university to recast the merit list in view of "errors/discrepancies" in four more questions. After the petition was filed, the university had accepted before the court that there were some "errors/ discrepancies" pertaining to question numbers 19, 26 and 47 and 71.The petitioners had alleged discrepancies in around 40 questions. Of these four, two have been cancelled owing to printing errors.
The test was conducted for nearly 2,000 MBBS and BDS seats in Punjab medical/dental colleges. The examination was conducted by the university at a lone centre in Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar to avoid instances of cheating. However, due to traffic chaos, the exam started late. On May 28, some students approached the high court challenging the validity of the exam alleging mismanagement, errors in question paper and sought a retest.
Varsity told to supply question papers
The high court bench directed the university to supply the exam question paper in the future noting that the CBSE, conducting a mammoth entrance test (AIPMT) in which more than six lakh students had appeared, was allowing students to carry their question paper along with them and giving access to answer keys and OMR response sheets. "If AIPMT could be held in such a manner, then why the state test could not be held as such, in which the number of candidates are just 15,152 in comparison to 6 lakh in AIPMT," said justice Jain. He further asked the university to allow the candidates appearing in the PMET exam to carry their question booklet outside the examination hall. It also asked the varsity to publish answer keys on the university website and allow candidates to have an access to their OMR sheets.
All candidates to get 12 marks each
*BFUHS counsel Anupam Gupta said all 15,000 candidates would get 12 marks each for three questions (19, 26 and 47) that stand cancelled.
*For question number 71 on discovery of Argon, those students who have opted for the options (a) Lord Rayleigh and (b) Willaim Ramsay would get equal marks for both options.
*The university will upload the revised merit list on its website by Wednesday noon.
* The counselling is likely to be held on September 7 (Monday). The PMET was conducted for 920 MBBS and 1070 BDS seats across Punjab