Top court restrains HCs from entertaining any cases filed on issue.
New Delhi: Giving a relief to IIT aspirants, the Supreme Court on Monday vacated its stay and allowed the IIT to go ahead with the process of counselling and admissions in IITs and NITs across the country.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Kanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagouder had on July 7 stayed the admission process to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) when it was complained that there was discrimination in granting 18 bonus marks to all candidates who appeared in the IIT-JEE (Advanced) 2017 examination. While three grace marks were awarded to a wrong question in Chemistry, 4 marks were awarded to wrong question in Mathematics in Hindi medium question papers.
The bench, while vacating the stay order, took note of the submissions made by attorney-general K.K. Venugopal and counsel for IIT that the stay will result in chaos in admissions when counselling had almost been completed and admission letters issued to 33,000 students. The bench restrained the high courts from entertaining any cases filed on the issue to “avoid any confusion” and sought details of any petitions pending before the courts.
The bench asked the authorities not to allow such errors in printing or framing of questions and wanted the authorities to come out with a mechanism to ensure that similar mistakes did not recur in future.
The A-G said 1.56 lakh students took the exam and 33,000 students had been issued admission letters and most of them had paid fees. He, however, assured the court that similar mistakes would not be repeated again.
Petitioners Aishwarya Agarwal and others alleged that bonus marks were given to students to compensate for wrong questions in two of the papers.
They were granted irrespective of whether a candidate had answered these questions or not. Senior counsel Kapil Sibal said because of such bonus marks about 4,000 meritorious students were denied admissions and less meritorious students were placed about these candidates.
Senior counsel Sanjay Hegde wanted the court to appoint a committee of experts to go into the issue so that a revised rank list could be published.
It was argued that a blanket award of 18 bonus marks to all candidates, across the board, was both “arbitrary and wrong”.
The petitioners argued that bonus marks should be given only to students who had attempted the question, or in the alternative, exam should be conducted afresh or even students allowed to appear in the next year’s IIT entrance exam. While three grace marks were awarded to a wrong question in chemistry, 4 marks were awarded to wrong question in Mathematics in Hindi medium question papers. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on October 10 when the government will submit a mechanism to ensure that such problems did not recur in future.