Allahabad HC Directs IIT (BHU) to Admit Dalit Girl Who Lost Her Seat Because She Could Not Pay Fee
Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh went so far as to provide the petitioner with the funds for the seat acceptance fee from his own pocket, after court hours.
New Delhi: The Allahabad high court on Monday, November 29, directed IIT (BHU), Varanasi to admit a Dalit candidate who lost her seat because she was unable to pay the Rs 15,000 seat acceptance fee within the stipulated time frame, Live Law reported.
What’s more, in light of the candidate’s circumstances, Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh, presiding over the case, offered to pay the Rs 15,000 fee out of his own pocket, handing the cash amount over to the petitioner after court hours.
Sanskriti Ranjan, the aspirant in question, cleared the national Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) by scoring in the 92.77 percentile and ranking 2,062 in the Scheduled Caste Category and was thus allotted a seat in the University to pursue a dual degree Mathematics and Computing (Bachelors and Masters in Technology), NDTV reported.
However, due to her father’s ailing health, Ranjan could not arrange the funds required to secure her seat. It was submitted to the court that her father required dialysis twice a week, the expenses of which, in addition to the financial strain placed on the family by the COVID-19 pandemic, made her unable to arrange the amount required.
Ranjan’s plea also notes that both she and her father wrote to the Joint Seat Allocation Committee (JSAC) several times, explaining the family’s circumstances and requesting an extension for paying the seat acceptance fee, but received no response.
Apart from putting up Ranjan’s seat acceptance fee himself, Justice Singh also directed the JSAC and IIT (BHU) authorities to create a supernumerary seat for the petitioner should no vacancy remain to admit her in the course. If a seat in the course becomes vacant before Ranjan’s admission can be regularised, she will be admitted to the vacated seat but if this does not happen, she will pursue her degree through the supernumerary seat.
The court also directed Ranjan to report at the IIT (BHU) campus within three days of Monday’s judgement along with the relevant papers and fee in order to secure her admission in the course.
The lawyers who volunteered for Ranjan, while arguing her case, made reference to a Supreme Court judgement in another recent case of a Dalit boy, one Prince Jaibir Singh, who was on the verge of losing his seat in IIT, Bombay because his credit card was not working as he attempted to pay the fee to secure his seat.
In that case, a bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna directed that IIT, Bombay allocate a supernumerary seat to the aspirant, noting that, “…it would be a grave travesty of justice to the young Dalit student who has to finally move this court, is turned away from its portals.”
Sarvesh Kumar Dubey, one of the lawyers who volunteered to appear for the petitioner in the present case, told NDTV that, after the court order was uploaded, several lawyers came together to contribute additional funds towards Ranjan’s education and had raised enough to deposit her entire course fees, including tuition and hostel fees as well.
Courtesy : The Wire
Note: This news piece was originally published in thewire.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights objectives.