The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Ministry of Education and the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) to create a seat in IIT Bombay in a Special Leave Petition by a 17-year-old Dalit IIT aspirant against the order of Bombay High Court, whereby the court had expressed its inability to permit Prince Jaibir Singh to pay the Seat Acceptance Fees after the deadline.
A division-bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice A.S. Bopanna were hearing a petition seeking directions for admission of the petitioner to his allotted seat at IIT Bombay for civil engineering or to any other seat that may be available in any of the zonal IITs, in any stream.
Justice Chandrachud: “There has to be some modality, else only students from the metropolitan city will join IITs.”
Prince Jaibir Singh is a student belonging to the Scheduled Caste category, who passed the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2021 and has scored All India Rank (CRL) 25894 and Scheduled Caste (SC) Rank 864 and was allotted seat at the IIT, Bombay for Civil Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) (B.Tech. Course).
Singh had failed to pay the Seat Acceptance Fees on October 29 as he was falling short of money. Upon receiving money from his sister on October 30 & 31, Singh tried paying the fee several times but was unable to do so, owing to technical glitches.
Justice Chandrachud: “You must have a robust mechanism. Everyone does not have multiple credit cards.”
Initially Advocate Jain appearing on the behalf of Joint Seat Allocation Authority 2021 and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay had submitted that there was no vacant seats in any of the 7 zonal IITs.
Upon this submission, Justice Chandrachud reprimanded Jain, stating: “You must look into the reality on the ground…………please don’t be wooden like this.”
Justice Chandrachud further enquired about the seats that are voluntarily left by candidates upon getting preferable seats and warned Jain that if the Court passes an order, it might become a problem for the Joint Seat Allocation Authority later.