MUMBAI: IIT-Bombay director said on Monday that 847 candidates had chosen the “withdraw option” during admission while requesting Supreme Court to vacate its December 9 interim order in favour of student Siddhant Batra (18), saying it “may lead to opening up a potential floodgate of litigation by other candidates who may have second thoughts about their choice of withdrawal”.
Agra-based Batra had scored an all India rank of 270 and got a seat in October only to lose it later. Batra said he had lost the seat following a “genuine and bona fide error’’ on October 31 on selecting a link “withdraw from seat allocation and further rounds”.
The IIT’s reply further said the information on “reason for withdrawal,” an eightstep process, is used only for “possible future data analysis and does not have any bearing on the outcome of the withdrawal process whatsoever”.
On Monday, Batra who had lost his mother, his only parent, two years ago, began attending classes after IIT-B gave him provisional admission following the SC ruling.
The IIT affidavit cited rules and safeguards, including a pop-up screen, in the admission process and sought dismissal of Batra’s special leave petition. The student had moved SC to restore his admission to bachelor of technology in the electrical engineering department at IIT-B—his seat of choice secured in the first round.
Last week, the SC order recorded senior counsel Basava Prabhu Patil for Batra showing a “screenshot of the withdrawal letter which would show the reason for withdrawal was that he had already got a seat which is in question and that is also the reason why he would not like to pursue it next year”.
It is “not open” for IIT to comment on the “adequacy or correctness” of the reasons by a candidate who chooses to withdraw, said the affidavit filed by Parag Singla, chairman, JEE (Advanced) 2021, IIT-Delhi, on behalf of IIT-B, JoSSA and Joint Admission Board 2020.
Detailed rules inform students of steps, requirements and, where applicable, consequences, said the IIT.
There is a popup message that says, “after withdrawal, the allotted seat (if any) will be cancelled and candidate will not be allowed for further rounds of counselling’’ and as the last step generates a one-time password on his or her registered mobile number, after entering the unique password, said the reply.
The IIT reply said Batra completed the eight steps “for withdrawing from the seat allocation,” in which he had “opted to cancel the seat’’.
Also, IIT said Batra has not challenged the Joint Seat Allocation Business Rules 2020, which thus become “binding’’. IIT said the candidate’s portal cannot be accessed by the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) and hence it submitted a sample of the screenshot of the withdrawal process which requires his unique pin.
Batra had approached SC after Bombay high court dismissed his petition last month.