Bombay HC
Bombay HC
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Observing that the state has powers to make special provisions for the socially and educationally backward classes, the Bombay High Court on Friday ordered IIT-Bombay to consider creating a supernumerary seat in its masters in design course for a student, who couldn't take admission due to a goof up on part of the institution.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni further said that in admission matter, every single day counts.

The judges were dealing with a petition filed by a student through his counsel Ashraf Shaikh, seeking directions to the IIT-B to admit him in the masters course, since despite clearing all the entrance tests, he wasn't informed by the institute. The student claimed that he was shortlisted for the admissions but the institute did not send him an email to inform about the same and that it was done only after he personally visited their office.

"The student is a member of the scheduled caste community. Provision in Article 15(4) of the Constitution of India enables the state to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or, inter alia, for the members of the SC," CJ Datta noted in his orders.

"Such provisions can be made not only by the legislature but also by the executive. The members of the SC community can thus be viewed differently by the State," the chief justice ordered.

The bench then criticised the student for not "actively" pursuing with the institute about his admission and approaching the college only after a month. It however, said it was human nature to make mistakes.

"To err is human," Chief Justice Datta said, adding, "In a situation such as the present, a leading institution like the IIT-B to use technical glitch as a shield for defending its inability to reach to the student to inform him of his admission. The Institute should have been more careful and cautious as well as vigilant in its approach so as not to infringe the valuable right of any candidate," the judges said.

The bench accordingly said it "hoped and trusted" that the IIT-B director would rectify an error, in its and part would enhance the image, status, authority and prestige of the Institute, "rather than showing the Institute in poor light, would explore the possibility of making such special provision for the student to enable him either take admission for pursuing the course at the Institute this year by creating a supernumerary seat, or if the same is not possible, to consider the desirability of granting opportunity of admission to him in the forthcoming academic year," the bench ordered.

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