Observing that a medical course aspirants missed out on a seat due to online glitches only while registering on the portal, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the state to pay ₹1 lakh as compensation to the candidate .
Justice GR Swaminathan said that digitization is the way forward. It should lead to empowerment and not to deprivation. The ground reality was that there was a digital divide in the society. The judge said that if a student is deprived of eligibility due to the digital divide, the state is bound to compensate him. The court directed the officials to ensure that the selection process is conducted and finalized without recurrence of such incidents.
The court was headed by K.K. of Narikudi in Thanjavur district. Lal was hearing a petition filed by Bhagdhur Shastri, who was not selected in the first round of counseling but was placed on a waiting list.
At around 7.30 pm on 7 April, he received an SMS from the selection committee asking him to register before 10 pm. He tried to register his name on the portal, but could not do so due to poor internet connectivity.
One Time Password (OTP) was not generated on time from the portal even though the connectivity was good. OTP was received through SMS only at 10.31 pm. When he entered the password, the server was busy and buffering. All his efforts went in vain.
The state submitted that the counseling process for the academic year has already been completed
The court found that for the marks obtained by him, the candidate was entitled to get admission in the medical course under management quota. He did not get the seat due to online glitches.
Had the officials adopted the dual mode of counselling, i.e. physical and online, the situation could have been avoided. The judge said that if the respondents had given reasonable time to the petitioner to register himself on the portal, he might have done so.