Bombay High Court bench passed the interim order after hearing plea against the notification of MHA
The Bombay High Court bench has passed an interim order permitting an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder student to appear for Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) counselling under the general category. According to the interim passed, an OCI cardholder can appear for JEE counselling for admission to various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) under the general category and not the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) reserved category.
The High Court Bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan passed the interim order after hearing a plea by a student against the notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 4, 2021. The notification stated that the OCI cardholder candidates can only apply under the NRI quota seats for Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in the educational institutions in India.
Senior counsel Vineet Naik appearing for the petitioner challenged the legal validity of the MHA provision. He said that the petitioner had completed her Class X and XII from India and was not an NRI although she holds an OCI card. Naik said that therefore she was rightfully seeking admission to the IIT under the general category.
According to the advocate, these students should be treated as general candidates as NRI seats are limited and the chances of getting admission increase when applied under the general category. There are almost 16,000 seats in the general category while approximately only 1,600 seats are reserved for NRIs and foreign nationals.
The advocate, Rui Rodrigues appearing for the ministry of home affairs (MHA), joint seat allocation authority (JoSSA) and the education ministry said to the court that the centre issued the notification to specify the OCI cardholder rights under the Citizenship Act.
The Bombay High Court also noticed that a similar order was passed by Madras High Court. Accordingly, the Bombay High too passed an interim order directing the JoSSA to declare the result of the petitioner and allow her to appear in the JEE counselling under the general category. The final order of the court will be passed after a further hearing scheduled on November 23.