KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday observed that no comparative analysis of the merits/demerits of the concerned schools was conducted while preparing the list, and termed the select list as a ‘bolt from the blue’.
The petitioners in the Plus-II batch case submitted that the list of schools recommended by the Cabinet sub-committee should be published on the government website, giving an opportunity to submit objection, if any. But, it was not followed by the government.
The court observed that after evolving the policy, and pursuant to the approval of the Division Bench of the High Court, it was moving smoothly, step-by-step, towards the scrutiny of the applications and the recommendations made by the six-member committee.
“The wagon got derailed thereafter, when the government issued an order taking a decision contrary to the policy. There was no case that the recommendation of the HSE director was defective in any manner. Later, the Cabinet sub-committee decided to obtain the opinion of the representatives of the people in every locality as well, while assessing the educational needs of the locality,” the Court stated.
Advocate General K P Dandapani submitted that the suggestions were sought somewhere between June 10 and June 19, and that the same could be learned from the files. After going through the files, the court, however, observed that the files do not disclose as to ‘who’ pointed out the educational need, ‘how’ it was pointed out and ‘when’ it was put forth. “No such opinion or matter is available from the files,” it stated. The proceedings of the government clearly reveals that no verifications could be conducted with regard to the credentials of the applicants due to paucity of time, the court observed.
Teachers’ Union Hails Court Order
The All-Kerala School Teachers Union has welcomed the decision of the High Court to cancel the newly allotted Plus-II schools and batches that did not feature in the list of the six-member committee. Members of the union alleged that the allotment of Plus-II batches without proper scientific study was aimed at helping those who want to commercialise education, and that the court’s interim order was against the government’s action. Further, they demanded that the Education Minister resign and face judicial investigation.