A video purportedly showing a photo of the undergraduate National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test paper leaked on messaging application Telegram on May 4 is fake, the National Testing Agency told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, reported Live Law.

After the results of this year’s examination were announced on June 4, allegations of question paper leaks and other irregularities came to light. The National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test for admission to undergraduate medical colleges was held on May 5.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra was hearing a batch of petitions seeking a fresh exam citing alleged paper leaks, OMR sheet manipulations, impersonation and cheating.

The National Testing Agency has maintained that the alleged question paper leak case that was reported in Patna has not affected the sanctity of the nationwide exam.

During a hearing on July 8, the bench observed that if the leak has happened through electronic media, then it could be widespread.

Senior Counsel Narender Hooda, appearing for the petitioners, said that the question papers were being circulated through Telegram application on May 3 and 4, ahead of the exam.

The exam conducting agency, however, said that the timestamp was manipulated to create the false impression of an early leak, the affidavit added.

"The alleged incident/attempt of leak in Patna does not seem to have any bearing on the conduct of the entire examination, as the number of students found to be involved by the investigating agencies is minuscule compared to number of candidates who appeared,” the agency told the court.

On June 28, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested two persons from Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh in connection with allegations of a paper leak. The arrests came a day after it arrested two men from Bihar’s Patna in connection with the same case.

At the last hearing, on July 8 the petitioners told the court that the Bihar police’s investigation showed that groups of students were asked to memorise the answers. “We have the video of the Telegram channel”, they had said, reported The Hindu.

UGC-NET paper-leak evidence doctored, says CBI

A Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry has hinted that the alleged evidence that led to cancellation of the University Grants Commission–National Eligibility Test may have been doctored, The Indian Express reported.

On June 20, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that the question paper for the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test was circulated on Telegram before the examination.

The test, conducted for the post of assistant professor in universities and colleges, was held by the National Testing Agency on June 18 in two shifts across the country. On June 19, the government cancelled the test, saying that the integrity of the examination “may have been compromised”.

The evidence cited by the Centre was a screenshot of a UGC-NET paper circulating on a Telegram channel around 2 pm on June 18. The messages and comments suggested that the paper was leaked before the first session.

The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre under the Union home ministry detected this chat, and informed the University Grants Commission on June 19, reported The Indian Express. Based on this input, the government cancelled the test.

On June 23, the Central Bureau of Investigation took over the inquiry.