Supreme Court Directed IIT Madras to treat OCI Student at par with Indian Students in terms of Fees Payable

IIT madras Law Insider

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: February 08, 2022 at 16:12 IST

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT) was directed by the Supreme Court to treat a student of the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) category at par with the Indian students with respect to the fees to be paid to the Institute for the current academic year.

The Bench comprised of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari. The Petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Anitha Shenoy, IIT was represented by Advocate-on-Record Sonal Jain, and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati appeared for the Union of India.

The Bench referred to the Interim Order dated October 27, 2021 wherein the Bench had directed to permit the Petitioners to appear for counselling in General Category at par with Indian students for academic year 2021-22. It clarified that the OCI candidates shall be treated at par with the Indian students.

Ms Shenoy argued that though the Petitioner was admitted under Open category, they were asked to pay as per the fee structure laid down for foreign nationals. She contended that OCIs had been paying the same fee as Indian students for past 12 years which was modified in 2021 without issuing any notice.

Ms Bhati stated, “Kindly, see the difference in fee. For Non-Indian candidates is Rs 3,18,000 per semester and fee for Indian candidates is Rs 1,04,000 per semester. The difference is only 2 lakh odd per semester.”

But the Bench stated that the Petitioners were to be treated as Indian students for the current academic year. Ms Bhati argued that the fee was determined by the birth category of the candidate and not the seat category.

Ms Shenoy highlighted that the OCI candidate were treated the same as Indian students in terms of fees for 12 years. The Bench stated, “Last time when the matter was argued, it was stated that they are living in India, they are earning accordingly. Fee component was definitely argued. The position is to continue for atleast another year.”

Mr Jain pointed out that out of 81 students who are foreign nationals, only the Petitioner sought parity with respect to fees. He argued that treating the Petitioner at par with Indian students would have serious consequences as the position of 80 other students would get disturbed.

The Bench clarified, “If it has consequences it will follow. We are passing Orders with respect to the Petitioner.”

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