A 17-year-old student, who couldn’t afford admission into the prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU) after qualifying, received help “to pursue her dream” from the Allahabad High Court. While the judge hearing her petition shelled out Rs 15,000 “from his own pocket”, lawyers pooled in and raised the entire admission fee to help her get into college.
Sanskriti Ranjan, who had appealed to the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court to direct the college to waive her fee, appeared before the court today without knowing she her problems would be over by the end of the day.
A topper in school, the teen had cleared the JEE or the national Joint Entrance Examination for higher educational institutions. With 92.77 percentile, she ranked of 2,062 in the Scheduled Caste category.
But when she wanted to join the BHU’s five-year course in Mathematics and Computing, she fell short of the admission fee.
Helpless, she petitioned the High Court, which directed the University and the Union Education Ministry’s seat allocation body to admit her.
After an order by the single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh, she has been asked to report to the university within three days.
The judge noted the ‘bright’ academic credentials of the student and the financial distress in her family because of her father’s kidney disease, and ordered the money to be given to her today.
“The petitioner has not been able to pay meager amount of Rs.15,000 for seat acceptance as her father has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and he has been advised to go for a Kidney transplant. The father of the petitioner has to undergo dialysis twice in a week to survive,” said Judge Singh.
“It is said that due to ill health of the father of the petitioner and financial crisis created by medical expenses and Covid-19, the petitioner could not arrange Rs.15,000 fee for allotment of seat at IIT, BHU The petitioner and her father have written many times to Joint Seat Allocation Authority for extension of time indicating precarious condition for which she could not deposit the fee but no reply has come forth from the Joint Seat Allocation Authority,” the judge said in the order.
The Allahabad High Court said it would contribute the money “considering the facts of the present case”.
“A bright young Dalit girl student has come before this Court seeking equity jurisdiction to enable to pursue her dream of getting admitted in the IIT, this court on its own has volunteered to contribute Rs.15,000 for allocation of the seat,” said Justice Singh.
Two lawyers who voluntarily assisted the student in her court appearance also mentioned a recent Supreme Court order that led to relief for a 17-year-old Scheduled Caste student who was about to lose his seat at the country’s premier Indian Institute of Technology, or IIT
“While the preliminary admission fees has been given by the honorable judge himself, many lawyers have got together after the judgement was uploaded , and want to contribute more and we are in a position to deposit her entire course fees including her tuition and hostel fee,” Sarvesh Kumar Dubey, one of the advocates who represented the student told NDTV
Prince Jaibeer, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad, was shortlisted for Civil Engineering at IIT-Bombay on October 27. But he was unable to pay the acceptance fee of Rs 15,000 — the initial amount to be paid online in order to secure the seat.
First, he fell short of money. When he was able to arrange it with some help from his sister, he was stymied by technical glitches on the website.
Justice DY Chandrachud, who was on the Supreme Court bench, had said, “This Court has before it a young Dalit student who is on the verge of losing a valued seat which has been allocated to him at IIT Bombay… 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”.