A 17-year-old Dalit student who was about to lose his seat at the country's premier engineering institute IIT over delay in fee submission got relief from the Supreme Court today.
The student, from Uttar Pradesh's Allahabad, got selected for civil engineering branch at the IIT's Bombay campus on October 27.
However, he initially fell short of money to pay the 'acceptance fee' - the initial amount to be paid online in order to secure the seat.
He later arranged money with some help from his sister.
However, he faced technical glitches on the website and failed to pay the fee before the deadline.
The student then approached Bombay High Court for relief but it rejected his plea in the matter.
However, the Supreme Court today made remarks in favour of the student and opined that the authorities must take a humanitarian view in the matter.
Justice DY Chandrachud said that it would be "grave travesty of justice" if the student fails to get the seat.
"You must deal with the student in humanitarian approach, this is just bureaucracy. you cannot be wooden," Justice Chandrachud said.
On the argument that all seats were full, the Supreme Court judge suggested the government lawyer to create an additional seat.
"You have to create a seat! A lot of times seats fall vacant. you can adjust him there. Please tell the chairperson that the student cannot be left in the lurch," Justice DY Chandrachud said.
"It would be a grave travesty of justice that a young Dalit student is denied admission for non-payment of fees and is turned away from the Supreme Court," Justice Chandrachud said.
The court further said that the "realities of what happens on the ground" must be considered in the matter.
"Can't we do something? We can show him the door on five different points of law. But this is a humanitarian thing. Sometimes we must rise above the law. This is a dalit boy who has cracked IIT Bombay. For all we know he could be a leader of the nation 10 years down the line." Justice DY Chandrachud had said in an earlier hearing of the case.