"10 years down the line he may be leader of nation": SC allows Dalit student IIT Bombay's seat

A dalit student filed a plea in Bombay HC after being denied admission to IIT Bombay due to non-payment of fees. The court had directed NIC to check the payment status.

"10 years down the line he may be leader of nation": SC allows Dalit student IIT Bombay's seat Supreme Court (Source: Shutterstock)
Vagisha Kaushik | Nov 20, 2021 - 12:48 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Coming to the aid of a boy from a Dalit community, Prince Singh, aged 17 years, belonging to Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, who missed out a seat in the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay as he could not deposit his fees due to the non-functioning of his credit card, the Supreme Court on Thursday said “the court must sometimes rise above the law" as "who knows 10 years down the line he may be the leader of our nation”.

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The top court directed the counsel appearing for the Centre to procure details of admissions in IIT Bombay, and explore the possibility that he could be admitted.

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A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna said, “He is a Dalit boy who missed out a seat for no fault of his. He has cracked an IIT exam and was about to take admissions in IIT, Bombay. How many such children are able to do this? The court must sometimes rise above the law. Who knows 10-years down the line he may be the leader of our nation”.

It asked advocate Sonal Jain, appearing for Joint Seat Allocation Authority and IIT Bombay that he must by November 22, explore the possibility of accommodating the student and seek instructions about the seat position in IIT Bombay.

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“Look, we can also raise five different points of law and show him the door like the High Court has done. But this is a humanitarian thing and sometimes we must rise above the law”, it said, asking the lawyer for the government to take instruction and assuring him that its order will not be treated as a precedent. The bench said it may pass the order on Monday next (November 22).

The Bombay High court on November 11 directed the National Informatics Centre to check whether the student tried to pay a fee for securing a seat in the institute. “He must be an intelligent student. He should not suffer because of a technical issue,” Justice Shahrukh Kathawalla had said.

Singh passed the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Advanced 2021 and secured an All-India rank of 25,894 and a scheduled caste (SC) rank of 864. During the JoSAA counselling 2021, he was allotted a seat at IIT Bombay for Civil Engineering.

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Advocate Amol Chitale, appearing for petitioner Prince said that if he does not get admission in IIT Bombay, he is willing to take admission in any other IITs also. He claimed that the petitioner was allocated a civil engineering seat in IIT Bombay but he could not make payment for the seat acceptance fee as his credit card did not work on October 27.

In his plea, filed through advocate Pragya Baghel, Singh said that on the next day, he had tried to book the seat after his sister sent the money but could not do so. Thereafter, he wrote several e-mails and made calls to the management authorities of IITs but did not receive any response. Failing to get any relief, he then approached the Bombay High Court seeking directions to IIT, Bombay but his plea was dismissed on technical grounds.

(with inputs from PTI)

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