New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), National Institute of Technology (NITs) and other engineering colleges to stay their counselling and admission forthwith. With this, the future of nearly 33 thousand students, who have already been allotted seats in different colleges across the country, hangs in balance.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar also restrained the High Courts from entertaining any writ petition relating to counselling and admissions to the IITs from today onwards. The bench listed the matter for further hearing on July 10.
Earlier on July 6, the joint admission board of IIT had told the Apex Court that it is not possible to revise the merit list of Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) by scrapping bonus marks awarded to all students for wrong questions.
IIT, while responding to a notice issued by the Supreme Court, justified its decision to award bonus marks to all students to ensure that no candidate was prejudiced on account of printing inconsistencies.
Replying to the SC, the IIT said that the decision on bonus marks was taken by a committee of experts after exploring all other options and there was no infirmity in the decision. Meanwhile, it also urged the Apex Court not to entertain plea of some students who are demanding the scrapping of bonus marks and issuance of fresh merit list.
On June 30, the apex court had issued notice to the Ministry of Human Resource Development on a plea seeking quashing of the IIT-JEE 2017 rank list.
The petition, filed by IIT aspirant Aishwarya Agarwal, had sought the court’s direction to declare that the action of awarding “bonus marks” to the candidates who had appeared in the JEE (Advanced) 2017 examination was wrong and violated her right, as well as that of other students.
It also sought a direction for preparation of the all- India rank list after rectifying the scores of JEE (Advanced) and also award marks for the incorrect questions to the candidates who had attempted the right answers.
As an alternative, the petitioner said the institution should conduct fresh examination and prepare a fresh merit list or grant all students another opportunity to appear in the examination to be conducted next year.
The petition also sought an interim stay on the merit list and the counselling, saying it would cause serious prejudice to the petitioner and other deserving candidates.
Around 1.7 lakh students had registered for the JEE-Advanced examination in 2017 and 1.6 lakh appeared for the test. Out of the total, 50,455 students were declared to have qualified and are vying for 11,032 seats across 23 IITs.