Published: 22nd November 2021
Under SC orders, IIT Bombay seat to be created for Dalit boy who lost his due to technical issues
The Supreme Court took note of the 'travails' that the student had to go through and has directed the authorities to create a seat for him in 48 hours
The Supreme Court has ordered the Ministry of Education and the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) to create a seat in IIT Bombay for the 17-year-old Dalit student, Prince Jaibir Singh, who lost his due to a technical error. "Having regard to facts of the case, it would be a great travesty of justice if the young Dalit student is denied admission for non-payment of fees to IIT Bombay after having tried to do so. Hence, we are of the view that it's a fit case of Article 142 in an interim stage," said the two-judge Bench in its order. The IIT authorities are required to create a seat in the Bombay institute in the next 48 hours without disturbing the admission of any other student.
Prince had moved the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court dismissed his petition on grounds that he did not approach the authorities for grievance redressal within the stipulated time. The student, who landed a Scheduled Caste rank of 864 in the JEE Advanced exam, was allotted a Civil Engineering seat at IIT Bombay under the JoSAA counselling. On October 29, when he tried to pay the fee to confirm his seat, he found that his credit card did not work because there wasn't enough money on it. He borrowed from his sister and made multiple attempts to pay the fee. However, he was unable to do so because of a technical snag. Non-payment of fee counts as a renouncement of the seat under the computerised JoSAA process.
The Supreme Court took note of the issues the student had to face following that incident. "Based in UP, the student borrowed money to travel to the office of the second respondent (JoSAA) in Kharagpur. Bombay HC was moved under Article 226 seeking a writ to accept the fees and facilitate his admission. After being unsuccessful, the student moved the Supreme Court," said the Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna.
READ ALSO : 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
The court was of the opinion that it would be a travesty of justice if the student was denied a seat just because he failed to pay the fee. Justice DY Chandrachud was quoted saying, "There has to be some modality, else only students from the metropolitan city will join IITs." The court took the authorities to the cleaners over not providing students with an alternative to online payment of the fee. "You must have a robust mechanism. Everyone does not have multiple credit cards," said the court.
The apex court had earlier warned the Ministry and JoSAA that it would initiate a judicial order against them if they failed to understand the reality of the situation. Earlier, it had termed the student meritorious and said that he could be leading the country in ten years' time.