Wanting protect his future, a 23-year-old mechanical engineer has moved the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay to admit him to the designing course, for which he and 16 others were shortlisted, out of 1,000 students. However, because of a "goof-up", the student claims to have lost his seat.
The student, Prathamesh Pedamkar has petitioned a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta through his counsel Ashraf Shaikh.
According to Pedamkar, a resident of Navi Mumbai, he had applied for a Masters in Design course, which has only 17 seats in all. He had applied under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category and had filled in the common entrance test form in November 2019, receiving an admit card through email the following month.
Prathamesh cleared the entrance test in January and had made an online payment for admission form, which the institute had confirmed by email, Shaikh said, adding that later in July 2020, his client appeared for an interview through a Zoom application.
After the virtual interview, the institute had informed through an email that the selected students would be sent emails and SMSs, as had been the procedure right from the entrance test, the counsel added.
"Since the institute did not put out any specific date for intimating the successful candidates, my client kept waiting for the email and SMS from the institute however, when no communication about selection was received, he began emailing the institute to learn about his status. He sent numerous emails to the institute in August," the plea stated.
The institute finally replied on August 31, annexing an email dated August 2 (which had been sent to Prathamesh) stating that he was selected for the course and eligible for the admission.
"But my client disputes the email by the institute, because as per his email and mobile records, he never received any offer letter on email or SMS on his mobile number. Generally, for almost all the steps from application in entrance exam till the interview, he had been getting emails as well as SMSs," Shaikh argued.
Further, the plea highlights that on September 2, IIT-Bombay sent another email, confirming his admission and asking him to pay the fees immediately. However, "to our utter surprise, another email was sent asking my client to ignore the earlier email confirming his admission," the counsel pointed out.
Thus, seeking a directive to IIT-Bombay to admit him, the student's plea states, "I am a young student and my future career and prospects are at stake due to negligent and careless attitude of the institute and my full one year will be wasted."
The matter is likely to be heard on Tuesday.