IIT Topper asked for damages from FIIT-JEE in Delhi High Court

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IIT Topper Nitin Jain had lodged a complaint with Delhi High Court against the coaching institute FIIT-JEE for gross misconduct and misrepresentation of his name in public. The Delhi High Court has found merit in his case and pulled the FIIT-JEE, Delhi to court to hear the case.

Facts of the case

Nitin Jain studied in Modern Vidya Niketan, Faridabad and was always a brilliant student. In 2009, he became the second scholar after Piyush Srivastava to achieve success by topping both Joint Entrance Examination for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT-JEE) and All-India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE). He was an alumni of FIIT-JEE, South Delhi and an extraordinary student. He went on to won National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) in 2007 and won three gold medals in three international science Olympiads held in Indonesia, Mexico and Iran in 2008-09.

After his brilliant performance in IIT-JEE, the institute (FIIT-JEE) wanted him to do a promotional campaign crediting his success to the institute. Jain went with the idea and penned an excellent eulogy in favour of the institute attributing them with his success, talked about his inspiration and hard work. He and his family also appeared in a video at the behest of the institute and discussed the path of his success at length. But without informing him, the institute used his pictures and videos to generate more business. Not only that Jain complained to the Court that his photos and a distorted video appeared on pornographic sites which was practically impossible without the institute’s explicit approval in the same.

Court ruling

Nitin Jain filed a case claiming a compensation to the tune of Rs. 5.85 crores from FIIT-JEE for gross misconduct and misrepresentation, damage to his reputation, trying to malign his public image, breach of his right to privacy and institute’s refusal to cooperate with his family after multiple discussions both verbally and written by way of legal notices. Jain, a resident of San Francisco, USA and currently working for Google LLC was visibly upset with the callous disregard and indifferent attitude shown by the institute towards him and his family.

The plea suit was heard by Honourable Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw at the Delhi High Court. He examined the petition and called upon the institute (FIIT-JEE) to respond. FIIT-JEE claimed that Jain has no locus standi in this matter as he had already submitted his commendations and videos to the institute voluntarily. They claimed that there was no breach of trust on their part and hence no claim of compensation arises.

Justice Endlaw enquired, “You neither have the intent to settle the matter, nor any control over cheating. Did you ever pay him anything or promise to pay for flashing his photographs in national dailies?” The Delhi High Court also took notice of the fact as alleged in the suit that the video was shot two days before the announcement of the IIT-JEE results of 2009 and the plaintiffs had no idea that the materials would be used for commercial purposes. Justice Endlaw acknowledged the family’s claim that FIIT-JEE not only behaved illegally but unethically as well and posted the case to be heard further on August 31, 2018.

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