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Bombay HC allows OCI student to appear as general category for JEE counselling

2 min read

Alka Verma-

Published On: October 13, 2021 at 12:41 IST

The Bombay High Court through an Interim Order allowed an OCI student to appear as a general category student for JEE counselling.

The Court asked the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) holder to appear under the general category and not under the reserved ones for NRIs to seek admissions in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

A Bench comprising Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Madhav Jamdar passed the Order while hearing a Plea filed by the female student.

The student in the Plea challenged a part of the notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 4, 2021.

The notice issued by MHA stated that OCI cardholders can only claim the seats reserved under the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota in any educational institutions which are based on all-India entrance tests such as National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and JEE, etc.

Senior counsel Vineet Naik, who was appearing for the Petitioner questioned the legal validity of the provision, arguing that the Petitioner only holds an OCI card and she is not an NRI, and also, she had completed her Class X as well as Class XII in India.

Therefore, Naik argued that she should be allowed to seek admission as a general category student and not as a foreign national candidate.

Pointing towards the benefit of a general category, Naik stated that the general category is entitled to approximately 16,000 seats, which is much more than that of NRI’s as they get only 1,600 seats.

Advocate Rui Rodrigues, who was appearing for the MHA, the Education Ministry, and the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSSA), stated before the HC that the notification had been issued by the Centre, which has the power to do so under the Citizenship Act to specify the rights of OCI cardholders.

However, the HC considered the interim orders of the Supreme Court and the Madras HC, where similar orders were passed recently and interim relief was provided to the Petitioner. 

“Having regard to the above (orders), we issue notice. As an interim measure we direct the respondents, particularly respondent number three (JoSSA), to declare the result of the petitioners in the Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) and to permit them to appear for counselling in the general category,” stated the High Court.

It should be noted here that the final selection of the Petitioner will depend upon the final order of the Court and the HC will hear the matter next on November 23.

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