The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay to create an extra seat for a Dalit student who lost out on his spot because he could not pay his fee on time, Bar and Bench reported.
Prince Jaibir Singh, who belongs to Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, had been allotted a seat in the institute’s civil engineering course on October 27. He uploaded his documents on the seat allocation authority’s portal on October 29 but did not have enough money at that time to pay his fee. Singh’s sister transferred some money to him after which he tried paying his fee online but encountered a technical error.
The student also tried to make the payment from a cyber cafe but did not succeed. He ended up missing the deadline for submitting the fee.
Singh called the institute and wrote mails to them but did not get a response, Bar and Bench reported. After that, he travelled to IIT Kharagpur and urged the authorities to accept the payment in other mode and confirm his seat. But the authorities turned down his request.
The student approached the Bombay High Court for relief but his petition was dismissed. He then moved the Supreme Court.
While hearing his petition on Monday, the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna said it would be a “travesty of justice” for the student to be denied a seat at IIT.
“This court has been moved by a young Dalit student who is stated to be presently on the verge of losing a valued seat, which has been allocated to him at IIT Bombay,” the judges said, according to Live Law. “The travails of the appellant have taken in from Allahabad, where he is presently studying, to Kharagpur and then to Bombay and eventually to the national capital.”
IIT’s Joint Seat Allocation Authority told the court that they did not have any seats left.
To this, the judges said: “Create a seat for this student. Ensure that this does not disturb any other already admitted student.”
The judges told the institute not to adopt a “wooden approach”, Bar and Bench reported. “Please understand the realities of social life, the issues on ground,” they said. “The student did not have money, then sister had to transfer money and then there were technical issues. The boy cleared the exam. If it was his negligence then we would not have asked you.”