7.5 percent Govt school quota for MBBS admissions challenged: Madras HC seeks response from Govt
Chennai: While responding to a batch of petitions challenging the 7.5% horizontal reservation in medical admissions for Government school students, the Madras High Court has recently asked the State Government to submit its response regarding the matter.
The petitions have challenged the constitutional validity of the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine, and Homeopathy on a preferential basis to students of Government Schools Act, 2020 (Act No. 34 of 2020).
During the course of the hearing on Monday, the HC bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy took note of the fact that while some of the petitions have challenged the amendment introduced in the law, others including the missionary schools or church aided schools have claimed that such funded schools also charge a minimal amount of fees to the students and thus, those students should also get similar benefits.
Listing the matter to be next heard after six weeks, the HC bench asked the TN government to file its counter-affidavits within four weeks from date.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Tamil Nadu Assembly had unanimously passed the bill providing a 7.5 percent quota within the existing reservation in MBBS, BDS, and AYUSH courses for government school students. It would be applicable for students clearing the NEET exam.
The Cabinet decision regarding the legislation was based on a recommendation made by a panel, headed by former Madras High court Judge P Kalaiyarasan. The committee had observed that there was a "cognitive gap" among students studying in government schools. It had suggested that students who had passed the higher secondary exam after having studied for seven consecutive years in government schools be provided the reservation.
However, the law that was announced back in October 2020 and set to be applicable from 2020-2021 academic year was challenged and previously the HC had also sought the Centre's response regarding the matter.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, challenging the constitutional validity of the said legislation, the petitioners have contended that even if the motto of the law is to benefit the weaker section of the society, it is absolutely necessary for the Government to judge properly who suffer actually from an economical crisis.
They further argued before the Court that instead of determining those needing help properly, the Government shouldn't extend such a blanket benefit to everyone.
"The writ petitioners are aggrieved that a general class is made out of students attending government schools without making any endeavor to ascertain the economic condition of the families of the students. On such basis, an immediate order is sought", the Bench had opined in an earlier order dated January 5, 2021, adds Live Law.
"In several of the petitions, the amendment introduced in such regard has been challenged; while in others, particularly by the missionary schools or church aided schools, the suggestion is that since such schools are also aided and funded and charge nominal fees from students, like government schools, their students should also be conferred the same benefit," the HC bench noted on Monday.
Listing the matter to be next heard on September 13, 2021, the HC has asked the State Government to file its response in the meantime.