In a significant ruling, the Madras High Court Bench here on Friday held that it could not compel a school to admit a meritorious student if the institution happened to give paramount importance to discipline than marks and was not satisfied with the student’s character.
Justice S. Vadiyanathan made the observation while dismissing a writ petition filed by the father of a girl who had scored 489 out of 500 marks in her Class X examinations but was not allowed to pursue Class XI in the same school since she was allegedly disobedient and disrespectful. “In this country, parents think that they are the best judges to judge their children but practically it is not so. Teachers are the best judges as students spend most of their time only with teachers and it is easier for them to assess the behaviour of each of the students,” the judge said.
He went on to state: “It is no doubt true that education is the panacea for all the evils in the world but education having no moral values and behaviour will definitely vouchsafe reversal attitude. Knowledge is not given but earned and character is not granted but cultivated.”
“Since the respondent school has stated that their educational institution is known for its integrity, discipline, values and virtues, this court cannot compel them to relax their slogan to suit to a particular student,” the judge said after the management refused to relent from its decision to deny admission.
Recording the statement of the school’s counsel, S. Srinivasa Raghavan, that it could not tolerate indiscipline on its campus, the judge said that the student might not feel comfortable even if she succeeded in getting admitted to the institution through court orders. He said that the petitioner, his daughter and the teachers of the school would always suffer from “some mental block and there will not be a healthy atmosphere” if the student happened to be awarded lesser marks in school level examinations after her admission.
“The principal and correspondent of the school being nuns have sacrificed their lives for the cause of society and student community in particular. Therefore, it cannot be said that they refused to admit the petitioner’s daughter with some ulterior motive,” the judge added.