KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday orally observed that it would examine whether the government had ignored the recommendations of the Higher Secondary Director while granting Plus-II schools and additional batches in the State. If the recommendations were bypassed the government should have enough reasons for that, the Court observed.
Justice P R Ramachandra Menon also directed the State Government to produce all the documents and files that led to the issuance of the order granting new Plus-II batches. The Court issued the directive while considering a batch of petitions, challenging the sanctioning of new Plus-II batches and schools in the State.
Appearing for the State, Special Government Pleader Muhamood T T submitted that the State Government had followed all the norms and conditions while granting Plus-II batches. It allotted batches considering the need of the area as well as merit. If the Court intervenes in the batch allotment when the admission process is about to end it would derail the process, and affect the future of the students.
The petitioners submitted that the guidelines clearly stated that the application of an individual manager could be considered for the grant of Plus-II courses only in the absence of applications from a government school or a corporate manager.
“However, the government usurped the guidelines while granting the new batches. There was no justification in bypassing the criteria, and choosing some schools for the grant of Plus-II courses, as against the preference of the petitioners’ school. The criteria for the process have been prescribed as per the government order, to avoid arbitrariness, favouritism and nepotism,” the petitioners stated. The petitioners pointed out that the decision to sanction 699 batches of Plus-II course was taken by the State Cabinet on July 23, and a list of selected schools was published on the website of the Director of Higher Secondary Education. “As per norms, a government order (GO) is required to be issued within 24 hours of the State Cabinet taking a decision.
“However, the GO has not been published yet, due to bickering in the Council of Ministers. Since the notification has not been issued as required, what is presently published is only the list of proposed schools,” the petitioners submitted.
“The names of some of the schools were inserted in the list overlooking the merit of the other schools and without any supporting data or documents. At the same time, even without a government order, steps were taken by the management for the commencement of classes by inviting applications for the admission of students,” the petitioners pointed out.