The Kerala High Court on Wednesday held that Scheduled Castes (SC)/ Scheduled Tribes(ST) and Other Eligible Community (OEC) students in the self-financing institutions should be granted all benefits irrespective of whether they are admitted in the merit or management quota.
The court further clarified that the government should not insist that the students should have been admitted from the list prepared by Commissioner of Entrance Examination (CEE) for availing of the benefits.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice C K Vinod Chandran passed the order while considering a batch of petitions seeking a directive to grant educational benefits for the SC/ST and OEC students studying in self-financing colleges without measuring their source for education expenditure.
The court held that the benefits extended to the SC/ST students by way of concession cannot be denied by making an in-house classification among them based on any principle, like financial conditions or source of recruitment.
“The object sought to be achieved by Article 46 of the Constitution is to ensure promotion of the education and economic interests of the weaker sections by providing special care and protection from social injustice,” the court said. The court also said that OEC having been equated to SC/ST for the purpose of benefits, would also enjoy the concession.
The petitioners pointed out that the Article 46 of the Constitution stated that there could not be any classification either on the basis of financial consideration or source of recruitment.
The government pleader submitted that the education concessions were confined to those who are admitted to the merit quota seats and also to seats reserved for the SC/ST and OEC candidates.