SC orders IIT Bombay to grant admission to student who lost seat by ‘wrong’ click

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an interim order directing IIT Bombay to grant admission to Siddhant Batra who had lost his seat by clicking on the wrong link during the admission process. 

The order was passed by a bench of justices S K Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy. 

“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”.

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The Special Leave Petition was filed by Advocate Pratiksha Sharma and argued by Senior Advocate Basava Prabhu S Patil.

What is the case?

18-year-old Siddhant Batra lost his seat for a four-year electrical engineering course in the prestigious IIT Bombay after he had “inadvertently” clicked on a “wrong” link which was meant to withdraw from the process.

The student, who hails from Agra, then approached the Bombay High Court, which initially directed the IIT to consider Batra’s petition as representation and pass appropriate orders.

Batra, who 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. Batra intended to freeze the seat, the plea said.

However, on November 23, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni dismissed Batra’s petition noting that IIT had considered his representation and passed its order.

The student then approached the Supreme Court seeking a direction after IIT said that it cannot do anything at this stage as all the seats have been filled and this would go against the rules of admission. 

In his plea, Batra had sought direction to IIT to consider his case on humanitarian basis and requested creation of an additional seat.

According to the plea, Batra came up in a page with ‘freeze’ option while filling out the admission process and he thought it meant confirmation of the seat. 

“On October 31,2020 when Batra 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”, the petition said. 

(With Agency Inputs)

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