Can’t deny education to students on bonafide mistakes: Court

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has ruled that students should neither be deprived of their right to education on bonafide mistakes nor penalised to the extent that their admission is cancelled.

Bonafide mistakes of students while submitting entrance form online can be ignored, said the court, particularly if the students belonged to areas where proper computer and internet facilities were unavailable, and more so when they had secured a seat in the entrance exam.

Justice G.S. Sistani, allowing a student from a village in Haryana to join the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Kurukshetra, has observed that bonafide mistake of the student cannot be penalised to the extent that the admission granted to him should be cancelled.

The court’s observation came while hearing a plea filed by Rohit Yadav who, while applying online for AIEEE 2012 (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) conducted by the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) filled up the wrong date of birth mistakenly.

Yadav, after clearing AIEEE, secured a seat in NIT. But the institute denied him admission citing variance in date of brith.

The court, passing the order, said: “Having regard to the facts of this case, I am of the view that on account of the bonafide mistake of the petitioner (Yadav), the petitioner cannot be penalised to the extent that the admission granted to him should be cancelled”.

The court observed that “on account of this mistake to debar him would amount to travesty of justice”.

“The petitioner had no intention to mislead the NIT or gain any unfair advantage. The certificate from CBSE is a genuine document. Thus the petitioner cannot be debarred,” the order passed last week said.

Justice Sistani mentioned that students from villages that do not get continuous electricity cannot be deprived of their right to education.

“The court cannot lose track of the fact that Delhi is not India. There are lakhs of students in rural areas, like the petitioner herein, who have the potential, and the students from rural background are not less intelligent than the students from affluent background,” the court said.

The court took into note that Yadav came from an humble background, lived in a village and did not have access either to a computer or internet.

“In towns, people are familiar with computer, laptop, iPads and other forms of computers, which provide them access to vast information at their fingertips. On the contrary, students from remote villages, who are away from towns, who do not get continuous electricity, cannot be deprived of their right to education, more so when the student has secured a seat,” the court opined.

Yadav, not having the benefit of a computer, went to a cyber cafe in Rewari in Haryana to fill up the form online, as per the petition. The cafe operator committed a mistake and mentioned Yadav’s date of brith as April 4, 1994 instead of April 8, 1994.

CBSE July 2 alloted Yadav a seat in the electronics and communication branch. But during verification of the documents by the NIT, it was found that his date of birth mentioned in the online form varied with that on original date of birth certificate.

Going through the documents, NIT denied admission to him in any of the colleges despite his having succeeded in the examination and securing 75th rank. Following the rejection, he moved high court.

The high court, allowing him admission in NIT, asked CBSE that in case it was not possible to grant him admission in NIT Kurukshetra, he should be given admission in electronic and communication engineering in any of its other colleges.


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