Mi­nori­ties panel or­der on ad­mis­sion stayed

Sunday Express - - TAMIL NADU -

AN or­der dated Oc­to­ber 16 of the State Mi­nori­ties Com­mis­sion (SMC) di­rect­ing cer­tain au­ton­o­mous col­leges to sub­mit de­tails about ad­mis­sion of stu­dents for the past three years to check whether 50 per cent seats have been filled with stu­dents from mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties, has been stayed by the Madras High Court.

Jus­tice S S Sun­dar granted the stay while pass­ing in­terim or­ders on writ pe­ti­tions from Loy­ola Col­lege at Nungam­bakkam and other mi­nor­ity in­sti­tu­tions in the city and the districts.

The judge also or­dered no­tice to Higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary, SMC and two oth­ers, re­turn­able in two weeks.

Pe­ti­tioner’s se­nior coun­sel Isaac Mo­han­lal sub­mit­ted that it is prac­ti­cally im­pos­si­ble to ad­mit 50 per cent of stu­dents be­long­ing to mi­nor­ity com­mu­nity in the pe­ti­tion­ers’ in­sti­tu­tions. He as­sured the judge, by way of an un­der­tak­ing, that the in­sti­tu­tions will not deny ad­mis­sion to any el­i­gi­ble can­di­date be­long­ing to mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties. “Hence, there shall be an or­der of in­terim stay,” the judge said.

In his pe­ti­tion, An­drew Fran­cis, Prin­ci­pal of Loy­ola Col­lege, sub­mit­ted that al­though it was a mi­nor­ity in­sti­tu­tion, ad­mis­sion was not de­nied to any­one on grounds of re­li­gion, caste or creed. De­nial of ad­mis­sion to any can­di­date on the ground would vi­o­late the right of stu­dents to get ad­mis­sion. While so, SMC is­sued no­tice stat­ing that the prime in­ten­tion of a mi­nor­ity ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion was to up­lift the ed­u­ca­tion­ally back­ward mi­nor­ity peo­ple and sprin­kling of non-mi­nor­ity stu­dents in mi­nor­ity ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion was to be only pe­riph­eral ei­ther for gen­er­at­ing ad­di­tional fi­nan­cial source or for cul­tural cour­tesy. It was brought to the no­tice of SMC that ad­mis­sion of non-mi­nor­ity stu­dents were not pe­riph­eral, but large in num­ber in some mi­nor­ity in­sti­tu­tions and thus, reser­va­tion of seats for mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties were not fol­lowed in ref­er­ence to the guide­lines pre­scribed in the 1998 G.O, it added and di­rected the pe­ti­tioner to ap­pear for a per­sonal hear­ing with the de­tails of the stu­dents ad­mit­ted for the past three aca­demic years. On en­quiry, the au­thor­i­ties said the SMC was in­sist­ing upon mi­nor­ity col­leges to fill a min­i­mum 50 per cent s e at s o n ly wi t h mi n o r i t y can­di­dates.

Coun­sel con­tended that SMC does not have the au­thor­ity to fix any such cri­te­ria in the mat­ter of ad­mis­sion in mi­nor­ity in­sti­tu­tions.

The act of SMC in­ter­fer­ing with ad­mis­sion of stu­dents is ar­bi­trary, il­le­gal, un­con­sti­tu­tional and with­out ju­ris­dic­tion, he said.

Tamil Nadu Pri­vate Col­leges (Reg­u­la­tion) Act and rules do not em­power SMC to di­rect pri­vate mi­nor­ity ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to pre­scribe per­cent­age of ad­mis­sion

Coun­sel

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