Supreme Court on Wednesday allows the 18-year old student to pursue his dream of B.Tech course from IIT Bombay. The court has asked the IIT to grant him interim admission and has posted the matter after winter break for further hearing.
18-year old Siddhant Batra from Agra has an All India rank of 270 in JEE 2020. He had lost his seat for the four year engineering course in the prestigious IIT Bombay after he inadvertently clicked the wrong link which ultimately led to his withdrawal from the process.
The SC bench comprising Justice S K Kaul, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, and Justice Hrishikesh Roy has issued the notice to the institution for providing interim admission to Batra. “There is something known as common sense too, why would a meritorious student who had already got admission want to cancel it? All three of us discussed. We are all in ad idem,” stated the bench.
Batra had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the Bombay High Court November 23 order where the bench had dismissed his petition. The High Court had earlier directed the IIT Bombay to consider Batra’s plea as a representation and take an appropriate decision.
Then, the petitioner moved Supreme Court with an SLP seeking directions to the IIT to consider his case on humanitarian grounds, and also urged to create an additional seat to undo his loss.
Batra used to live with his grandparents as he had lost his father during his childhood and he lost his mother in 2018.
The petition stated that while filling the admission process online, the petitioner came upon a page with the ‘freeze’ option which he thought confirming the seat and completion of his admission process.
“On October 31, 2020 when he was surfing the IIT portal to check for further updates, he came upon a link which carried a declaration that read ‘I would like to withdraw from the seat allocation process of JoSAA (Joint Seat Allocation Authority),” the plea said.
But, when the institution uploaded the list of selected students on the IIT portal, Batra didn’t find his name in the list.
After Batra moved Bombay High Court, IIT replied that as per the rules, it cannot reverse the loss, but had offered him a second go, directly through JEE Advanced 2021 for which the student had said no.
On November 23, Bombay High Court dismissed Batra’s petition stating since its earlier order was acted on “nothing survives for decision” in the petition.
IIT in its order stated, “Withdrawal option was a “conscious” two-step process. Candidates who want to withdraw before the final round can do so and the ‘seat acceptance fee’ gets refunded (with a deduction of Rs 2,000), and once a candidate has withdrawn then his or her seat stands cancelled.”