IIT Admissions : Supreme Court Asks JEE (Advanced) 2023 Organisers To State If Any Seats Are Vacant
The Supreme Court, on Monday, directed the organizing Chairperson, JEE (Advanced) 2023 to file an affidavit providing a status of the admission process setting out whether there are any vacant seats. In case there are seats available, the Court sought categorical information with respect to the discipline in which the seats are available.
The order was passed in a plea challenging a Bombay High Court judgment, whereby a petition filed by JEE aspirants who had secured seats at IIT, Gandhinagar after 1st Round of Counselling, but were not allowed to participate in the subsequent rounds as they failed to deposit the acceptance fees was dismissed. It is pertinent to note, that considering the petitioners are meritorious students, the High Court had observed, that, if during the 6th round after all students have taken admission, some seats are vacant, IIT, Gandhinagar may consider the petitioner's case for admission.
At the threshold the Bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli were not inclined to interfere and asked the petitioners to prepare for the next academic session. The Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners apprised the Bench that this year is their last opportunity as they have already exhausted the two attempts. He also indicated that there are vacant seats available in the IITs. It was submitted -
"For the last two years there have been vacant seats in the IITs. The Hon. Education Minister on the floor of the Parliament stated that from 2021, 476 seats were vacant in UG….They(IIT) always say that there is no vacant seat. Last year also there were some 5000 seats vacant, but they said that no seats were vacant."
The Counsel appearing on behalf of IIT informed the Bench that no seats are vacant in any of the IITs for the batch for which the petitions are seeking admission. Moreover, the admission process has already been completed. Considering the same, the Bench asked for the concerned affidavit.
The petitioners appeared in the JEE(Mains) and JEE(Advanced) and were allotted provisional admission in IIT, Gandhinagar. But, they did not deposit the seat allocation fee. Consequently, they were not considered for subsequent rounds. The petitioners had approached the Bombay High Court seeking permission to participate in the 4th, 5th and 6th rounds of seat allocation for admission to IIT, Gandhinagar wherein they had secured admission in the 1st Round. The petitioners claimed that due to technical glitches they could not upload the requisite documents and pay the acceptance fee. The petitioners submitted that they had chosen 'Slide' and 'Float' options, which permitted them to choose different seats other than those allotted to him or her in the first round. But, the High Court was not convinced that the same would substitute the requirement of making the acceptance fees. It noted that though they had time from 23rd September, 2022 to 26th September 26, 2022, neither did the petitioners make the deposit, nor exercise their rights to seek remedy, in case of technical glitch, within the span of three days. Considering that the non-payment of acceptance fee was also in breach of the Business Rules of the competent authority, the High Court dismissed the writ petition.
[Case Title: Shreyas Sunil Babel v. Chairman Joint Seat Allocation Authority Organizing Institute of IIT Admissions And Ors. SLP(C) No. 19485/2022]
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