New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) In a big relief to the 18-year-old student who was on the verge of losing a seat at IIT Bombay, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the institute to grant him interim admission in an engineering course.
Siddhant Batra, a resident of Agra, had lost the seat for the four-year electrical engineering course after he “inadvertently” clicked on a “wrong” link, which was seeking consent to withdraw from the process.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy said: “List in the reopening miscellaneous week after the winter recess. In the meantime, by interim order, we direct that the petitioner should be permitted to join the respondent-institution and pursue his course subject to fulfilment of all other formalities.”
Batra, represented by advocate Pralhad Paranjpe, in his petition, sought direction to IIT to consider his case on humanitarian grounds. He said he lives with his grandparents following the death of his parents, and submitted that he had worked hard to clear the IIT-JEE exam. Batra requested creation of an additional seat to undo his loss.
In his plea before the High Court, Batra submitted he had lost his father at a young age and lost his mother in 2018.
The counsel for Director IIT Bombay drew the top court’s attention to Rule 46 to submit that the Batra had frozen his seat as per the said rule and completed the process.
The court said: “He has then drawn our attention to Chapter XXIII which is the Withdraw Option to state that all the processes as envisaged in Rules 56 to 59 have been completed by him and that he would file an affidavit with annexure setting out how the respondents (IIT Bombay) have completed the process.”
Batra moved the top court challenging the Bombay High Court, which dismissed his plea on November 23, saying that it cannot intervene at this stage as all the seats for the course were full. The High Court, citing the IIT Bombay submissions, had emphasised the admission rules had to be followed and Batra could apply next year for JEE (Advanced).
The top court noted that as per Batra’s counsel, the screenshot of the withdrawal letter at Annexure P-6 would show that the reason for withdrawal was that he had already got a seat which is in question and that is also the reason why he would not like to pursue it next year. “The withdrawal is stated to be thus an apparent mistake,” Batra’s counsel submitted in the top court.
Batra had secured All India Rank (AIR) of 270 in JEE Advanced exams and secured admission, claimed in his plea that he had clicked the wrong link which was meant to withdraw his seat.