HC orders Rs 1L compensation to med aspirant

Hearing the arguments, Justice GR Swaminathan wondered whether the issues of the digital divide raised by the petitioner should go unanswered, pointing out that he failed to get a seat only because of online glitches.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the Director of Medical Education to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to a medical seat aspirant from a village in Thanjavur, who could not get admission despite excelling in NEET due to online glitches.

K Lal Bhagadhur Sasthri from Narikudi village in Thanjavur had scored 409 but was on the waiting list. At 7.30 pm on April 7, he received a text message from the Directorate of Medical Education asking him to register before 10 pm. However, he was unable to do so, initially due to poor internet connectivity and later because the portal did not generate the one-time password on time. He finally received the OTP at 10.31 pm, but when he entered it, the server was busy.

He moved the court after learning that those who scored as low as 108 marks in NEET were allotted management quota seats. The Selection Committee and DME responded that the counselling process for the 2021-22 academic year has already been completed and that there were no vacancies.

Justice GR Swaminathan wondered whether the issues of the digital divide raised by the petitioner should go unanswered, pointing out that he failed to get a seat only because of online glitches

Hearing the arguments, Justice GR Swaminathan wondered whether the issues of the digital divide raised by the petitioner should go unanswered, pointing out that he failed to get a seat only because of online glitches. It could have been avoided had the respondents adopted both physical and online modes of counselling or if they had given him reasonable time to register.

If a student was deprived of an entitlement on account of digital divide, the State was obliged to compensate him, Justice Swaminathan noted, directing the respondents to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation to Sasthri and also to conduct the selection process in such a way to avoid such incidents in future.

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