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Delhi High Court Rejects PIL Attempting to Delay Admissions in IITs

Accepts MHRD Technical Committee view for Common Seat Allocation only from 2015

New Delhi,The Delhi High Court on 1st August, 2014, has rejected an application filed by Prof. Rajeev Kumar seeking interference with the admission process for academic year 2014-15. In a detailed judgment, the High Court accepted the contention on behalf of IIT Kharagpur that the issue of Common Counseling was being examined by a Technical Committee constituted by MHRD, consisting of representatives of IITs, NITs and NIC and that common seat allocation can be implemented only from 2015 this is contrary to media reports appearing in newspapers today. 

The Court has declined to extend the already completed admissions of the IITs as the NIT process is not yet over. The Court appreciated the view that IITs have a very thorough process and have already started their academic session in time. The Court had some additional queries on whether SC/ST seats that remain vacant can be converted to general category seats and whether lateral entry can be made in the second year to fill up vacant seats. 

It has been held that Prof. Rajeev Kumar had wrongly alleged that hundreds of seats remain vacant at IITs due to students taking up admissions at NITs, and had sought a direction that the Joint Seat Acceptance Process be implemented for Admissions 2014. However, the Delhi High Court has held in its judgment date 01.08.2014 that: 

“7. We have bestowed our thoughtful consideration to the matter. Though undoubtedly the issue flagged by the petitioner is of vital importance and it is in national interest that no seats in such premium educational institutions of the country as IITs are wasted but at the same time, it cannot be forgotten that for the sake of filling up the seats, the academic calendar devised by the professional experts at IITs, owing to whose efforts the said institutions have today reached the exalted position which they occupy, leading to the vacant seats therein being called a national waste, cannot be disturbed. The IITs are perceived to be better than NITs, perhaps for commencing their academic session well before the NITs, as is evident from the academic session of the IITs having already begun, while the process of admission in NITs is stated to go on till August, 2014. Thus, the filling up of vacant seats cannot be at the cost of maintaining standards of education and merit in IITs. 

8. A Division Bench of this Court in M.I. Hussain vs. N. Singh 125 (2005) DLT 223 held that seats remaining vacant is no reason to fill them up by admitting non-meritorious students. Another Division Bench in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology Vs. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University 116 (2005) DLT 290 held that once the dramatic performance starts, no one is allowed to enter - similarly counselling of seats must stop once the course of study commences. Again, in Sunint Kaur Vs. GGSIP University ILR (2005) Del 215, this Court held that even if seats are not filled, that cannot be a ground for making midsession admissions. 

9. The Supreme Court also in Arvind Kumar Kankane Vs. State of U.P. (2001) 8 SCC 355 held that if counselling goes on continuously for a long time, it will upset the course of study. Similarly, in Neelu Arora Vs. Union of India (2003) 3 SCC 366 it was held that when a detailed scheme has been framed and the manner in which it has to be worked out is indicated therein, merely because a certain number of seats are not filled up, is not a reason enough for adopting one more round of counselling, if there is no scope therefor under the scheme. It was held to be not advisable to go on altering the scheme as and when seats are found vacant. 

10. Applying the aforesaid principles, we are not inclined to issue any directions for the current academic year, which in IITs has already begun.” 

The Delhi High Court has referred to the constitution of the Technical Committee by MHRD by the order dated 13.03.2014, under the Chairmanship of the Director, IIT Kharagpur and has accepted the minutes of the Technical Committee dated 17.04.2014, wherein it has been noted that Common Counseling can be implemented from academic year 2014-15, and has directed accordingly. 

The Delhi High Court has also directed Prof. Rajeev Kumar to submit his suggestions to the Technical Committee for consideration.