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Legal

Updated on: Monday, November 22, 2021, 11:08 PM IST

FPJ Legal: Supreme Court asks IIT Bombay to allot seat to Dalit boy in 48 hours

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed IIT-Bombay to create a seat for a 17-year old Dalit student who was unable to pay fees on time due to technical problems. The court exercised its powers under Article 142 to direct authorities to earmark a seat for the student, noting that it will be a “great travesty of justice” if the boy misses out on admission due to no fault of his. Creation of this seat will be subject to admission being regularised if (any other) seat falls vacant, the court added.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna noted that the boy missed out on a seat because of failure to remit seat acceptance fees on time due to glitches. “This court has before it a young Dalit student who is on the verge of losing a valued seat which has been allocated in IIT-Bombay. It would be a great travesty of justice if the young student is denied admission for non-payment of fees after having tried to do so. Hence, we are of the view that it is a fit case of Article 142 in interim stage," the court said.

The bench said the authorities should “not take such a wooden approach”; rather, they must understand the ground realities in such issues. “Don’t take this wooden approach. Please understand the realities of social life, the issues on ground. The student did not have money, then (his) sister had to transfer money, (but) there were technical issues. The boy cleared the exam. If it was his negligence, then we would not have asked you,” the court remarked.

The student the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), 2021, and secured an all-India rank of 24,894 and the Scheduled Caste rank of 864. He got the seat allocated in IIT-Bombay in civil engineering on October 27. He uploaded documents on the website, but fell short of money. His sister then transferred the money to him on October 30, and the petitioner tried to make payment about 10 to 12 times but couldn’t do so due to technical issues.

Later, he travelled to IIT-Kharagpur and requested the officials there to accept an alternative mode of payment and allot him a seat but they expressed their inability.

The petitioner then moved the Bombay High Court for relief but the court took a technical view and dismissed his writ petition prompting the present appeal before the top court.

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Published on: Monday, November 22, 2021, 11:08 PM IST
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