Tamil Nadu

Review withdrawal of scholarships for SC/ST students, Madras HC suggests to Centre, TN govt.

Not all students admitted under management quota could be branded as non-meritorious, say judges.

The Madras High Court on Tuesday made a suggestion to the Centre as well as the State government to reconsider their decision to withdraw grant of post-matric scholarship to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students, who had secured admission under management quota in self-financing institutions.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee said the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in particular, could revisit its decision to stop such scholarship for management quota students since not all students admitted under such quota could be branded as non-meritorious.

The judges agreed with senior counsel K. Doraisami and V.T. Gopalan, representing a batch of writ petitioners including former IAS officer S. Subbiah, that at times SC/ST students might take up management quota seats due to factors such as quality of teaching and infrastructural facilities available in a particular institution.

Authoring the verdict, the senior judge in the Bench wrote: “The Constitution of India also guarantees social upliftment of persons belonging to SC/ST communities and it is always the endeavour of the Central Government and State Governments to uplift their standard, both economical and education wise.

“Therefore, this court is of the considered view that the first respondent (Centre) may revisit the said issue since after all, upliftment of SC/ST students is an avowed social objective. To avail post-matric scholarship, economic criteria (an annual family income cap of ₹2.5 lakh) is also fixed and so, there is no likelihood of misuse or abuse.”

Despite dismissing the batch of writ petitions on the ground that the court was not empowered to strike down a policy decision taken by the Centre to limit the scholarship to students admitted under the government quota alone, the judges left it to the Centre to reconsider its decision within 12 weeks.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 10:51:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/review-withdrawal-of-scholarships-for-scst-students-madras-hc-appeals-to-centre-state-govt/article29694336.ece

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