Restricting IIT Student From Re-Appearing in Subsequent JEE Advanced Examination Discriminatory, Revisit Rules & Regulations: Calcutta HC
Calcutta High Court in Soutrik Sarangi vs. IIT Kharagpur & Others- WPA No. 11673 of 2020, directed the respondent IIT Kharagpur, NTA, and other authorities to revisit the provisions of restricting an IITian from reappearing in further IIT-Entrance Examinations.
The Single Bench of Justice Amrita Sinha stated:
“I am of the considered opinion that the discrimination by way of restriction imposed upon IITians in taking the JEE (Advanced) for the second time is liable to be done away with. Equal opportunity ought to be afforded to both IITians and Non-IITians to compete JEE (Advanced) in the second attempt.”
The petitioner, an IITian, admitted in Chemistry to IIT Kharagpur in 2020 praying to re-appear in JEE (Advanced) to better his rank so that he can choose his subject of interest i.e., Computer Science had filed this writ petition, aggrieved by the rules of examination of JEE (advanced) which bars an IITian to re-compete.
It has been argued on the behalf of the petitioner that prima facie he is eligible to appear in JEE (Advance) 2021, but what obstructs him is an irrational, unreasonable and arbitrary rule particularly barring an IITian from reappearing.
However, the respondent IIT Kharagpur contested that the petitioner was aware of the impugned rules and regulations relating to the same prior to appearing in the examination, and at this juncture, he shall not be permitted to question the legality of rules. It was also said that IITs do have a provision of withdrawing their admission prior to finalization of the last merit list, but the petitioner was negligent and he himself let this opportunity lapse.
It is pertinent to note that, the Section XXVII (Clause 70) of Joint Seat Allocation Authority Business Rules, candidates who accept the allocated seat in any IIT by reporting online but later do not withdraw seat or accept the allocated seat by reporting at the admitting institute, irrespective of whether they attend classes or not, become ineligible for JEE (Advanced) in subsequent years.
After deliberations, the Court observed:
“JEE (Advanced) Information Brochure clearly lays down that a candidate who has taken admission in any institute other than IITs in 2020 is eligible to appear in JEE (Advanced), 2021, that is, a candidate who has taken admission in IIT in 2020 becomes ineligible to appear in the JEE (Advanced), 2021.
…The distinction that has been made between an IITian and a non-IITian in taking the exam for the second time is certainly arbitrary, and discriminatory. The same is in violation of the provision of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”
In conclusion, the court directed the respondents to revisit the impugned rules and consider the prayer of the petitioner for permitting him to appear in JEE (Advanced), 2021, at the earliest.
However, the court also gave the liberty to respondents for rejecting the petitioner’s prayer but clarified that the rejection letter shall consider the discussions and findings of this court, and importantly, the decision shall have no effect for a fortnight from the date of communication to petitioner. Court added, if the respondents fail to decide the petitioner’s application before scheduled registration, the petitioner shall be allowed to reappear in the examination.
Kumar Sonal | Research Intern | EduLegaL