New Delhi: In a breather for thousands of students, the Supreme Court on Monday allowed the counselling and admission into Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the country on the basis of the results of the IIT-JEE (Advance) 2017 results by vacating its stay on it.
The apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra vacated its stay ordered last Friday, but asked the high courts not to interfere in the petitions regarding counselling and admission to the IITs to avoid any confusion, according to PTI.
Counselling is a process in which a candidate, who clears the entrance examination, chooses the best college and stream according to his or her choice based on their rank.
The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, asked the IITs to give an undertaking that such mistakes will not recur and make sure that no situation in which bonus marks have to be awarded arose in future.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, representing the IITs, said such a situation will not arise in future.
The bench said the 2005 judgement in Guru Nanak University case will not apply in the present matter as there were a huge number of students involved and there was a system of negative marking in the exam.
The apex court also noted that an experts' body of IITs had met twice to decide that bonus marks should be awarded across the board for the wrong questions.
The Supreme Court had on July 7 restrained the IITs from conducting further counselling and admissions saying the court will go by its earlier judgement of 2005 and bonus marks cannot be given to those who have not attempted the wrong questions.
The AG had, however, pointed out that there was negative marking for every unsuccessful question and there may be some students who had opted not to answer "the said vague questions fearing negative marking".
Therefore, across the board bonus marks were given to the candidates, Venugopal had told the court, adding that otherwise the IITs would have to strike down the marks.
The AG had also said that it was difficult to re-evaluate the answersheets of over two lakh students who took the examination and awarding of bonus marks across board was the most practical solution.
The Ag had also submitted in the Apex Court that in case ongoing counselling and admission process is disturbed, the admission procedure of more than 33,000 students in 97 institutes under the joint seat allocation programme for IITs, NIITs, IIITs and GFTIs (Government Funded Technical Institutions) would be scrapped
The apex court had on June 30 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 an IIT aspirant Aishwarya Agarwal, had sought the court's direction to declare that the action of awarding bonus marks to candidates who had appeared in the JEE (Advanced)- 2017 examination was wrong and violated her right, as well as that of other students.
Since then several other students had approached the apex court seeking quashing of rank list.
Several IIT aspirants in their pleas had 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.
The IIT Madras while announcing the JEE Advanced results on June 11 had said those students who took the IIT JEE Advanced 2017 exam may get 11 bonus marks for three ambiguous questions. This would be applicable to all candidates who took the examination on May 21.
It said the decision to award 11 bonus marks for the three ambiguous questions was taken following an internal review meet on the question papers by IIT experts.
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.