Terming the denial a “patent injustice”, Justice V Parthiban said, “When the government appended an explanation to the definition of students from government schools by including the RTE students, this court does not see any palpable, qualitative or intelligent reason for excluding the students like in the present case.”
Soundarya, who hails from a poor agriculturalist family, studied at a government school. She completed SSLC scoring a creditable 452 out of 500 marks, which secured her the second rank among the Adi Dravidar students in Karur district.
Based on the State policy to help the meritorious students from Adi Dravidar community to pursue their higher secondary education in reputed private schools to enhance their academic performance, she was sponsored to study in a private school under RTE. Soundarya scored 83 per cent in Class 12 and had obtained 158 marks in NEET.
Yet, her application under the 7.5 per cent quota for government school students was rejected because she studied in a private school for the last two years. Pointing out that she would have continued studying in government school if not for the government sponsorship, she contended that she was eligible for reservation under the quota.
Justice Parthiban asked the government to consider the predicament of the students like her and include them in the definition of government school students without derailing the kernel of the object, at least from the next academic year.
“It is up to the policymakers to come up with an equitable solution for these students as well, as the ultimate purpose of implementing such policies with inclusive social agenda of uplifting the students from government schools to achieve higher academic growth and prospects ought to include meritorious students from Adi Dravidar community as well,” the judge added.