Boy loses medical seat due to net glitch, Madras HC gives Rs 1 lakh relief – The New Indian Express

Chennai News

By Express News Service

MADURAI:  Observing that digitisation should lead to empowerment and not deprivation, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to provide Rs 1 lakh compensation to a medical aspirant who could not register for online counseling due to ‘digital divide’.

Justice GR Swaminathan passed the order on a petition filed by K Lal Bhagadhur Sasthri from Narikudi village in Thanjavur. Sasthri had scored 409 marks in NEET and was placed on the waiting list.

On April 7, 2022, at around 7.30 pm, he received a text message from the selection committee of the Directorate of Medical Education on his mobile phone asking him to register for medical counselling before 10 pm.

But due to poor internet connectivity and some technical glitches, he was unable to register on time. Citing that even candidates who had scored lower than him had been allotted seats under the management quota, he requested the court to direct the authorities to grant him admission.

Justice Swaminathan noted that Sasthri had failed to get the seat only because of technical glitches. Had the authorities adopted a dual mode of counseling (both physical and online) or given reasonable time to the petitioner to register himself in the portal, he probably could have made it, the judge opined.

“Digitisation is the road ahead. It should lead to empowerment and not deprivation. The ground reality is that there is a digital divide in society. If on account of the digital divide, a student is deprived of entitlement, the State is obliged to compensate him,” the judge observed.

Since it is not possible to order the government to grant admission now, the judge directed it to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation to Sasthri within two months. He also told the authorities to ensure that such incidents do not recur.