Ten years down the line he may be the leader of this nation: SC asks govt to aid Dalit student who missed deadline to pay IIT Bombay fees, lost seat 

Prince Jaibir Singh had secured 864th rank in the reserved category of the entrance examination and wanted to secure a seat at IIT Bombay but missed out on the chance due to technical error
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi (picture: PTI)
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi (picture: PTI)

Coming to the aid of a student who missed out on getting a seat in IIT Bombay, as he could not deposit his fees due to the non-functioning of his credit card, the Supreme Court, on November 18, said, "the court must sometimes rise above the law" as "who knows, ten years down the line he may be the leader of our nation."

Prince Jaibir Singh 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 pay the fees for the seat after his sister sent the money but could not do so because the deadline had passed. 

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.

However, the apex court was more accommodating. The top court directed the counsel appearing for the Centre to procure details of admissions in IIT Bombay, and explore the possibility of where he could be admitted. 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 get admission to IIT Bombay. How many such children are able to do this? The court must sometimes rise above the law."

The court told advocate Sonal Jain, appearing for the Joint Seat Allocation Authority and IIT Bombay, that they must, by November 22, explore the possibility of accommodating the student and seek instructions about the seat position in IIT Bombay. "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," the court 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 November 22, based on their response. Advocate Amol Chitale, appearing for petitioner Prince Jaibir Singh, who has secured 864th rank in the reserved category of the entrance examination, said that if he does not get admission in IIT Bombay, he is willing to get admitted in any other IIT. 

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