The Supreme Court on Friday put on hold admissions to most of the country’s engineering colleges, including the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), over awarding of bonus marks in the joint entrance examination (JEE).
The order, which will affect 33,000-odd students, came on a petition filed by two candidates who sought the court’s direction to IIT-Madras to revise the list of successful students without giving them bonus marks.
According to them, bonus marks should not have been awarded to all the candidates but only to those who attempted the “incorrect question” in the paper.
“If granting bonus marks is a problem, it has to be solved by us at the earliest,” a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra said as it fixed July 10 to hear the matter again.
The top court hinted it would go by its 2005 verdict, which ruled bonus marks for a wrong question can be given to only those who answer it.
The order to freeze the counseling that is underway was made despite the IIT informing the SC that it was not possible to re-evaluate answersheets of the estimated 2.5 lakh students who took the exams.
The institution justified the granting of bonus marks and called it the most practical solution to any dispute.
But the bench remained unconvinced. It also restrained high courts from entertaining any fresh case relating to counselling and admissions to the IITs from Friday.
The institution was asked to place details of petitions pending before the high courts challenging the IIT-Joint Entrance Examination 2017 rank list.
Meanwhile, IIT Kanpur stopped the third round of counselling that was scheduled on Saturday after the Supreme Court order.
Shalabh, chairman of the JEE commitee in Kanpur, said a notice has been issued informing the students.
Two rounds of counselling have already taken place and some students have deposited fee with their respective institutions.
“We will act as per the directives of, the Supreme Court,” he said.
The petitioners who cleared the exam claimed their ranking in merit list was hit by bonus marks given to all and they would not get admission in colleges of their choice. It violated their right and said a fresh list should be issued after rectifying the scores of JEE (Advanced).