CHENNAI: The operation of an order, dated April 5 last, of the Tamil Nadu government, which stipulated that all minority institutions shall admit not less than 50 per cent of the students belonging to the minority community every academic year, for grant of minority status, has been stayed by the Madras High Court.
Justice S S Sundar granted the interim stay on Tuesday while admitting a writ petition from the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, by its president Sriyapushpam, to quash the GO, which also fixed the upper limit of 75 per cent of students in aided institutions.
According to petitioner, the Supreme Court had held that admission of students in unaided minority educational institutions at the school education level cannot be regulated by the State.
It, however, said that in the case of aided minority educational institutions, the State government can notify the percentage of the non-minority students to be admitted. That will be in respect of minimum admission but it can never be the maximum limit. That too, it has been contemplated only in the context of inter-se merit and common entrance test, which has no relevance to school education. Nowhere it was stated that the minority status will be conferred or withdrawn depending on the percentage of minority students admitted in the minority institutions, she added.
The GO, on the pretext of promoting the interest of the minority community, was attempting to deprive the minority status and in turn, deprive the constitutional protection to the minority institutions based on the narrow and hyper-technical interpretation, which contravenes the spirit of the apex court judgment. The Supreme Court had, time and again, held that a minority institution gains its minority character because it was established and administered by the minority community and not because of the number of minority students admitted therein, she added.