Bombay HC OCI enables cardholders to participate in JEE counseling

According to the MHA declaration, OCI card holders are only eligible for non-resident Indian (NRI) quota seats in educational institutions which are based on national aptitude-cum-entrance test (NEET) and all-India entrance test like JEE. .

In an interim order, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed a student with an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card to appear for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) counseling for admission to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Not reserved for general category and NRIs or foreign nationals.

A bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuiyan and Madhav Jamdar passed an interim order on March 4 this year challenging a part of the notification issued by the Union Home Ministry (MHA) during the hearing of the petition filed by the female student.

According to the MHA notification, OCI cardholders can claim for only Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota seats in educational institutions based on the All India Entrance Examination such as National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Examination (NEET) and JEE, among others.

JEE and NEET are engineering and medical entrance exams respectively.

Senior counsel Binit Naik, who appeared for the petitioner, however, questioned the legality of the provision.

He argued that while the applicant student had OCI card, he was not an NRI and had completed his class, tenth and twelfth class from India.

Naik said that is why he is trying to get admission in an IIT under the general department for the current academic year.

The advocate argued that students like the applicant should be considered as general category candidates and not as foreign national candidates.

If they are considered candidates in the general category, they will be eligible to consider a larger pool of seats and courses – about 16,000 – as opposed to the 1,600 supernumerary seats created for foreign nationals, he told the court.

He cited a recent interim order of the Supreme Court which allowed an OCI card holder student to attend NEET counseling under the general department.

The High Court noted that a bench of the Madras High Court had recently issued a similar order.

Advocate Rui Rodriguez, appearing for the MHA, the Ministry of Education and the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSSA), told the High Court that the said notification was issued by the Center to specify the rights of OCI cardholders while exercising their powers under the Citizenship Act. .

The High Court, however, said that considering the interim order of the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court, similar interim relief may be granted to the petitioner.

“Considering the above (order), we issue a notice. As an interim measure, we instruct respondents, especially respondent number three (JoSSA), to declare the results of the Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) to the applicants and to allow them to appear for counseling in the general department, ”said HC. Selection of applicant or admission in IIT is subject to final order of the court. A further hearing will be held in the High Court on November 23.


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