NHRC notices to the Government of Tamil Nadu and Chairperson, CBSE over reports of humiliation and harassment caused to NEET aspirants in the name of security checks (08.05.2018)


New Delhi, 8th May, 2018
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports regarding the alleged harassment and convenience caused to the aspirants in the name of the security checks while appearing for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, NEET in Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country on the 5th May, 2018. It has issued notices to the Chairperson, Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE and the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu calling for the detailed reports in the matter within six weeks.

The Commission has observed that in view of the recent cases of paper leak and use of electronic gadgets by the aspirants, it is necessary to keep a strict check during the exam but putting them to such a vexatious process in the name of taking precautions, tantamount to harassment of the young aspirants. Cutting the sleeves of the shirts and tearing the pants of the aspirants to remove buttons etc. are unethical acts done by the staff deployed at the exam centres. This amounts to violation of the right to dignity of the aspirants.

The Commission has further observed that there is a need for the authorities to re-think and adopt certain mechanism with the help of gadgets and equipments to ensure security checks at the exam centres in a dignified manner so that wastage of time and inconvenience during manual frisking of the aspirants could be reduced. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) authorities have to take effective measures to chalk out a plan by inviting suggestions from experts and develop a more effective procedure for the security check at the exam centres. There is also a need to make sufficient publicity through various media channels to make aspirants aware in advance so that their harassment at the last moment at the exam centres could be avoided.

According to the media reports, carried on the 6th and 8th May, 2018 along with photographs of the checking of the aspirants, who were not allowed to wear full sleeve shirts, high heel shoes and wrist watch etc. Reportedly, even the girl aspirants were not allowed to wear saree and they had to remove all their ornaments, including nose pin, earrings, bangles and even the sacred threads. Hair bands of the girl aspirants were removed at the exam centres. The Muslim girl aspirants were not allowed to wear the traditional cloth to cover their head and face.

Reportedly, the male aspirants were also asked to remove the sacred threads and in some cases the sleeves of their Kurta and shirts were cut as the full sleeves were not allowed. They were even asked to remove metal buttons of trousers. Their pants were torn when the metal buttons and rivets were removed.