“Deal With Humanitarian Approach”: SC asks IIT Bombay to create a seat for Dalit student

Supreme Court was hearing a plea of a Dalit student who was denied admission to IIT Bombay due to non-payment of fees within deadline.

“Deal With Humanitarian Approach”: SC asks IIT Bombay to create a seat for Dalit student Supreme Court (Source: Official Website)
Vagisha Kaushik | Nov 22, 2021 - 5:59 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay to create a supernumerary seat after the institute told the court that there’s no seat left, for a Dalit student who could not take admission due to failure of payment on time, according to a Live Law report.

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The court noted that “it would be a grave travesty of justice” if a young Dalit student is denied admission to an IIT only because of technical errors in paying an online fees and passed an extraordinary order under Article 142 that the student be admitted to the seat allotted to him at IIT Bombay.

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The bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna passed the order after noting that if the boy is not given admission in the current academic year, he would not be eligible to appear after that, having given two consecutive attempts, the Live Law report said.

“Look at his background. This is a different case. Don't be wooden like this. He cleared the exam last year, he cleared it this year, he just could not pay the fee in time. Deal with him with a humanitarian approach. You can do everything if it fits you. This is only bureaucracy. Speak to your chairperson and find a way out. You cannot leave him in a lurch,” the top court said.

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"It is elementary common sense. Which student would get into IIT Bombay and not pay the Rs. 50,000 fee? It is obvious that he had some financial problems,” the Supreme Court observed, as per the Live Law report.

The apex court also warned advocate Sonal Jain, appearing for Joint Seat Allocation Authority and IIT Bombay that it will pass an order against the latter causing problems for them, and said that this is a genuine case.

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Coming to the rescue of Prince Singh, aged 17 years, belonging to Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court had on November 19 directed the counsel appearing for the Centre to procure details of admissions in IIT Bombay, and explore the possibility that he could be admitted.

The top court had 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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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.

In his plea, filed through advocate Pragya Baghel, Singh had 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 emails 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.

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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.

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