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Reservation In Higher Education A Serious Issue, Knowledgeable & Deserving Students Not Able To Avail Opportunity In Education: Madras High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
23 Nov 2020 8:38 AM GMT
Reservation In Higher Education A Serious Issue, Knowledgeable & Deserving Students Not Able To Avail Opportunity In Education: Madras High Court
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"Reservation in higher education has become a serious issue now. It has created differences between different sections of society. Knowledgeable and deserving students are not able to avail the opportunity in education. However, students who could not make it to the merit but belong to the reserved category enjoy the opportunities. Due to this many students are unable to chase their dreams...

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"Reservation in higher education has become a serious issue now. It has created differences between different sections of society. Knowledgeable and deserving students are not able to avail the opportunity in education. However, students who could not make it to the merit but belong to the reserved category enjoy the opportunities. Due to this many students are unable to chase their dreams and get success", remarked the Madras High Court on Thursday (19th November).

The Bench of Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana was hearing a plea moved by an MBBS graduate R S Poorvi, who applied for an EWS certificate to secure a PG medical seat under the 10% EWS quota, however, her application was rejected by the Tahsildar, Egmore Taluk, Chennai, as petitioner's annual family income was assessed to be more than Rs 8 lakh. Challenging the same, she moved the High Court.

Contentions raised by her

The petitioner stated before the Court that, her mother was suffering from cancer and succumbed to death on 30.11.2019, after a battle of five years.

The father has got no definite income, as he was not on a permanent job. She further stated that her family had struggled hard to save the life of the petitioner's mother and lost even the little resources possessed by the family.

The question before the Court

The order of rejection only stated that the applicant family has an income of more than Rs.8.00 Lakhs and hence the Application couldn't be considered.

Therefore, the only question which arose before the Court was as whether petitioner's family has got an income of less than 8.00 lakhs and fulfil the other criteria as per the Memorandum No.36039/1/2019-Estt (Res), Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Personnel & Training dated 31.01.2019.

[NOTE: According to the Memorandum, a person, whose family, has a gross annual income below Rs.8.00 Lakhs would be identified for the benefit of the EWS reservation. The said income would also include income from all sources i.e. salary, agriculture, business, profession, etc. for the financial year prior to the year of application.

The criterion also excludes persons from being identified as EWS irrespective of the family income, if the family owns or possess 5 acres of agricultural land and above, residential flat of 1000 sq.ft. and above, residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities, residential plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities, as defined under the criteria.]

Court's observations

The Court observed that computing her salary from August, 2019 to March, 2020, her gross income would be Rs.7,37,877/-, which is certainly less than Rs.8.00 Lakhs.

The Court also noted that as per her income tax returns for the Assessment Year 2020-2021, the gross salary is shown as Rs.6,37,226/-.

Further, the Court remarked,

"From the affidavit of the petitioner filed in support of the writ petition, it could be seen that the petitioner is a hard-working student and having secured a seat in the Government Medical College, Chennai, she deserves for a certificate to be issued considering the economic conditions of the family."

The Court also said that "though the petitioner belongs to a forward community, as she is economically backward, even as per the policy of the government, she has to be given the certificate of the economically weaker section, to enable her to pursue her higher education."

The Court also remarked,

"No doubt, it is true that the depressed and oppressed people should be given an opportunity for upliftment, without any compromise in quality in higher education. Similarly, merely persons are from the forward community, but financially backwards, their due place should not be denied on account of reservation, which is the object of introduction of EWS reservations."

Persons like the petitioner, the Court noted, who have scored well in the exams, by their hard work "are given a feeling of that they are not given the same treatment and criteria of selection though they are belonging to economically weaker section."

Lastly, the Court held,

"As the petitioner is a meritorious candidate and also has established that her income is less than Rs.8.00 Lakhs, satisfying the criteria fixed for getting the Economically Weaker Section certificate, she should have been issued the certificate."

In the light of the above discussion, rejection order dated 12.09.2020 passed by the third respondent, was found to be not sustainable and hence the same was set aside.

Accordingly, the third respondent (the Tahsildar, Egmore Taluk, Chennai) was directed to issue a fresh Economically Weaker Section certificate to the petitioner, forthwith, "to enable her to pursue her higher education."

With the above direction, the writ petition was disposed of.

Case title- R. S. Poorvi v. The District Collector and others [W.P.No.14531 of 2020 and W.M.P.Nos.18027 & 18028 of 2020]

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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