Two orders on grading method for awarding weightage marks set aside

Upholding a State government order of February this year giving relaxation of five per cent of marks in Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) to a specific class of persons, the Madras High Court on Tuesday set aside two orders in respect of grading method prescribed for awarding weightage marks in the test.

The court directed the government to issue a G.O. expeditiously prescribing any other scientific rational method for awarding weightage marks and make the selection accordingly.

With the disposal of the instant batch of cases, the court was sure that the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) would go ahead with the selection.

Justice S. Nagamuthu passed the order on a large batch of petitions. Some petitions challenged a G.O. of February 6 this year giving relaxation of five per cent of marks for candidates belonging to SC, ST, BC, BC (Muslim), MBCs, Denotified Communities and Persons with Disability.

Other petitions challenged a G.O. of February 14 by which weightage of marks in the slab system was awarded. The candidates’ grievance was that the weightage marks was disproportionate to the actual marks obtained. They said because of the slab system, candidates with higher marks had been discriminated as they were treated on a par with those who were less meritorious.

The Judge said as stated in the authorities’ counter, the government had considered representations from various quarters seeking relaxation of five per cent of pass marks for specified and underprivileged communities. Having regard to the same, the government had taken a policy decision to relax the eligibility mark. Therefore, it could not be stated that the government had passed the impugned order in total non-application of mind. But, the Judge said the G.O. could not be given retrospective effect to the examination held in 2012, as there would be chaos and confusion.

Mr. Justice Nagamuthu held that the slab system for awarding weightage marks was manifestly discriminatory, irrational and arbitrary. He suggested a method for awarding weightage marks. If that method was adopted there would be no anomaly or inconsistency or discrimination, he said.