2014(4) ALL MR 178
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY (AURANGABAD BENCH)
B.P. DHARMADHIKARI AND R.V. GHUGE, JJ.
Devendra s/o. Nilkanth Deshmukh Vs. The Ministry of Human Resource Development & Ors.
Writ Petition No. 6382 of 2013
19th October, 2013
Petitioner Counsel: Mr. M.V. GHATGE
Respondent Counsel: Mr. ALOK SHARMA, Mr. H.D. MARATHE
Constitution of India, Arts.226, 16 - Education - Admission to first year of Bachelor of Engineering course - Plea of petitioner that he was not allotted any seat in second round and was also not permitted to participate in further rounds thereafter - Representation made by petitioner shows that he nowhere complains of non allocation of seat to him in second round or then about suppression of his claim by admitting students lower in merit - On the contrary petition mentioned that he could not attend second round - If petitioner did not report and if some other candidates also did not report, candidates below such absent students are entitled to get admission in their place - That by itself is not sufficient to infer any merit violation - Representation by petitioner shows his inability to log on - No merit violation or system failure has been demonstrated to the court - Petition liable to be dismissed. (Paras 8, 9, 10, 11)
3. Petitioner, a student seeking admission to first year of Bachelor of Engineering course, has approached this Court with a grievance that he was not allotted any seat in second round on 16-7-2013 and he was also not permitted to participate in further rounds thereafter. It is not in dispute, that he belongs to O.B.C. category and in JEE-Main (AIEEE) conducted by respondent no.2 / Board, he scored 146.30 marks and his All India rank was accordingly 37797. Respondent no.3 / Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, was reporting centre for him.
4. First round of seat allotment was conducted on or about 10-7-2013 and second round list was published on 16-7-2013. Petitioner claims that he logged in on that day and found that no seat was allotted to him. Petitioner mentions that then there was a notice on website which declared that there was serious merit violation. Third round was to be undertaken though original scheme contemplated only two rounds. Third round was conducted on or about 23-7-2013 and petitioner again attempted to verify whether he was allotted any seat in that round. However, he could not log in. He, therefore, went to Nagpur on 24-7-2013. According to him, respondent no.3 also attempted to log in on 24-7-2013, but could not succeed. They advised him to wait and on 25-7-2013, he again contacted office of respondent no.2. Respondent no. 2's office informed him that he was selected for second round and as he did not report for admission within prescribed time, he could not have been considered for third round. He was also not eligible to participate in spot round. Petitioner made representation immediately and on the next day i.e. 26-7-2013, again he made his grievance through E-mail and fax, but it was not considered. On 27-7-2013, spot round was completed. Petitioner found that as per course-wise closing rank list of second round, students at Serial Nos. 82, 120, 124, 128 and 1356 were allotted seats in colleges placed at Serial Nos. 90, 96, 95, 94 and 80, respectively, in his choice by the petitioner. These students belong to OBC and are less meritorious. Third round again revealed that students at Serial Nos. 163, 202,208 and 213 have been admitted to colleges chosen by the petitioner at Serial Nos. 90, 96, 95 and 94, respectively. Closing rank list reveals Serial No. 1642 where a candidate at rank 36857 has been admitted, while in list of second round, at Serial No. 1356, earlier mentioned, admission of a student at rank 39930. Contention of Adv. Ghatge for the petitioner is, these instances sufficiently demonstrate merit violation.
5. Respondent nos.2 and 3 filed their reply affidavit on 19-9-2013. In that reply affidavit, they have denied any merit violation. they also submit that the petitioner could not log in on 16-7-2013, because he was attempting to do so through an unauthorized agent and, therefore, failed to claim seat allotted to him in second round. As per Clause 2.3 of Information Brochure, he was rightly not considered in subsequent rounds. They have submitted that in second round seat allocation, 6349 candidates were allocated and 874 candidates from Maharashtra were allotted seats in that round. Out of them, 638 candidates reported. It is further submitted that nearly 4000 candidates had reported to nearest reporting centre for document verification during second round and there was no problem with C-DAC server as candidates all over country could see their result at the same given time and there was no complaint by anybody even about slight malfunction. Adv. Mr. Marathe in this background, submits that the fault lies with the petitioner.
"1.Matter was heard initially in first session and thereafter in second session.
2.The petitioner has specifically contended that on 16th July 2013, he could login and at that juncture, he was not given admission in any college. Later on, he could find out that persons, who have scored less marks than him, have been given admission to colleges which were already preferred and submitted in his choice form.
3. Learned Counsel appearing for respondent nos.2 and 3 has relied upon reply affidavit and particularly, a print out of the monitor, to urge that on 16th July 2013, the petitioner was admitted in institute at choice number 95.
4. Because of some doubts expressed in relation to this print out, matter was required to be kept back. Upon instructions, in second half, learned Counsel for respondent nos.2 and 3 urged that though that data is not now available, it is still stored at head office of respondent no.2 at Raurkela and if the petitioner logs in there, he can still view said data.
5. Adv. Mr. Ghatge for the petitioner has urged that the facts on record indicate otherwise. According to him, if the petitioner was given admission against choice number 95 on 16th July 2013, the students who have scored marks less than the petitioner, could not have given admission on that day only, in institutes preferred at earlier numbers i.e. above choice number 95 by the petitioner. He submits that the admissions given to less meritorious students than the petitioner, in institutes preferred by the petitioner, itself is sufficient to discard the said print out.
6. By way of abundant precaution, he also submitted that because of the problem felt in on line process, the Central Government had taken a decision and seats have been increased. He submits that the petitioner is not interested in blaming anybody, if his merit is still recognised and if he is given admission in a college according to his merit and preference of choice.
7. Learned Counsel for respondent nos.2 and 3 submits that he will try to obtain further instructions on the status of print out, as also about availability of additional seats.
8. Place the matter for further consideration on 7th October 2013."
7. Accordingly, additional affidavit has been filed by respondent no.3 on behalf of respondent nos.2 and 3 on 4-10-2013, by Director of respondent no.3. He has in brief explained the admission procedure, difference between allocation of seat and admission, the screens which petitioner could have been viewed on 16-7-2013, had he logged in and affirmed that print-outs given to this Court contain authentication code which is unique code generated for each allotment status. It is submitted by Adv. Mr. Marathe, that mention of this code in case of the petitioner sufficiently proves that in second round he was allotted seat. He has further stated that there are no merit violations and petitioner cannot confuse his State overall rank (3275) or category rank (8100) with All India overall rank (37797). It is further pointed out that admission process has been finalized in July 2013 and classes have started thereafter and students have appeared for first session examination. Hence, granting admission at this stage would not be possible and legally permissible.
8. In this situation, only question before this Court is, whether petitioner had logged in on 16-7-2013 and found that no seat was allotted to him. The first document made available in this respect by petitioner is his representation dated 25-7-2013. In that representation, petitioner does not mention that he was not given any seat allocation in second round and, therefore, he should have been considered in third round. The representation shows introduction of subject by him as "Deshmukh second round does not attended". He has further stated that when he checked allotment, there was a problem. He also mentions that he was informed that seat was allotted to him in second round and makes a request for participation in third round. Third round was obviously over before said date. On 26-7-2013, he has reiterated same grievance. His messages sent on 25th July 2013 and 26th July 2013 do not mention grievance about injustice as projected before us in oral arguments. On the contrary, in representation addressed to Chairman / respondent no.2, undated and at page 149, he has mentioned that he could not attend second round.
9. He has also annexed three transaction reports dated 25th July 2013, 26th July 2013 and 28th July 2013, which apparently are in relation to messages sent. No print out of screen allegedly viewed by him on 16-7-2013, in which there was no seat allocation to him, has been produced.
10. Petitioner nowhere, therefore, complains to respondent no.2 or respondent no.3 of non-allocation of seat to him in second round on 16-7-2013 or then about supersession of his claim by admitting students lower in merit on that day. There are no arguments and counter to deny the relevance and importance of the authentication code. If petitioner was deliberately overlooked and students below him in merit list were allocated seats on 16-7-2013, he could have definitely made that grievance as it would have been a strong ground to claim participation in third round or spot round. Petitioner has attempted to demonstrate admissions of less meritorious students on print outs which have been taken after the round was over. If petitioner did not report and if some other candidates also did not report, candidates below such absent students are entitled to get admission in their place. That by itself is not sufficient to infer any merit violation. Representation by petitioner shows his inability to log on 16-7-2013 and arguments as advanced are by way of afterthought and only due to news item of merit violation. No merit violation or system failure has been even demonstrated to this Court.
11. In this situation, we are satisfied that there is no merit violation, at least, qua present petitioner. We, therefore, accept additional affidavit filed on behalf of respondent nos.2 and 3. Petition is misconceived. Same is accordingly dismissed. Rule is discharged. No costs.