CHENNAI: THE first bench of the Madras High Court has directed the State government to give wide publicity to a 2000 GO, which left it to the discretion of the parents to mention the caste and religion of their wards in the applications for admission in schools.
The first bench of Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan gave the direction on Wednesday while disposing of a PIL from one G Balakrishnan seeking to order strict implementation of the GO dated July 31, 2000 of the School Education Department, which directed schools not to insist that the parents mention the caste and religion of their children in the application forms while seeking admission in schools.
With the avowed object of having a casteless society, the State government had issued the 2000 GO. This GO is observed in breach and needs to be re-emphasised, the petitioner’s counsel contended.
“We are in agreement with the submission of the counsel for the petitioner and thus direct the respondents to circulate the GO giving wide publicity, so that such persons who do not want to declare their caste or religion are not compelled to do so,” the bench said.
Insofar as the transfer certificate is concerned, the judges said they cannot issue a mandatory direction that caste shall not be disclosed because some people may want to do so. However, if any person does not want the caste to be disclosed, we feel there is no need to mandatorily to do so, keeping in mind the aforesaid Government Order, the bench said and disposed of the PIL.