MADURAI: The Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench quashed a GO relaxing the minimum pass marks in Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) for candidates belonging to the Backward, Most Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes/Tribes. However, the court said that candidates who have already been appointed or selected for appointment on the basis of the quashed GO shall not be terminated.
Originally, all candidates had to secure 60 per cent marks to qualify in the TET. On February 6, the State government had issued an order allowing five per cent relaxation in the qualifying marks to candidates belonging to BC, MBC, SC and ST.
Aggrieved by this, a forward community candidate, K K Ramakrishnan, moved the court contending that the GO strikes at the root of the objective of the parent legislation to provide quality education to students by qualified teachers. However, the State government submitted that it had granted the relaxation following representations from stakeholders.
Justice V Ramasubramanian, who authored the judgment for a division bench comprising him and Justice V M Velumani, said, “The expression ‘stakeholders’ is a very vague term and we do not know how a policy decision has been taken on the basis of the representation of such ‘stakeholders,’ whose identity is not known.” The judge added the policy was against the stated position of the government. Only on February 5, the government had filed a counter affidavit in a case related to TET stating that it has taken a policy decision not to compromise on the quality of teachers. “If the reduction in the pass mark benefits hundreds of individuals belonging to the socially backward segments, by the very same logic, it will deprive lakh of children belonging to the very same segment to have quality teachers,” the judges said.