CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday reserved orders on a batch of petitions challenging the provision of 7.5 per cent quota for government school students in government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu for admission to undergraduate medical courses.
Counsels for the petitioners and the respondents made the arguments before the First Bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy. Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, representing the State government, explained that the reservation is being provided to poor students on the grounds of their economic status and instability of the structure. He added that such students are given the quota after clearing the common entrance exam.
The CJ questioned that if the standard of the education is up to the mark, then why should the students go for coaching. He also said that the merit and standard of education are being sacrificed for quota. Appearing for Tamil Nadu higher education department, senior counsel and DMK MP P Wilson said the State is well within its authority to provide such reservation as the government school students are considered a separate category. The authority of the government for making such a classification was approved by the Supreme Court as well.
Senior counsel Sriram Panchu, however, contended that a separate quota for government school students cut into the open quota. The counsel appearing for aided school students, who sought to extend the quota to them, said the government has shown bias by providing the quota to government school children, while leaving out students of aided schools.