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Kerala HC dismisses petition for 10 percent EWS student quota

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New Delhi: The Kerala High Court has dismissed a PIL that wanted a directive to the state to fix 10 percent quota for students belonging to the economically weaker section. In doing so, the court observed that Article 15 (6) is only a competent provision for those who apply for higher secondary course for the year 2020-21.

However, the government of Kerala issued an order on August 11 to deposit 10 percent of the total seats in various batches in government higher secondary and vocational Higher Secondary Schools for students from EWS.

The bench of the Chief Justice S.K. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly, while considering the PIL filed by Samastha Nair Samajm, stated that clause (6) of Article 15 is the only a provision which enables the State Government to make any special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker section except as mentioned in clauses (4) and (5).

Referring to Ajit Singh and others v. State of Punjab and others [(1999) 7 SCC 209], the court stated that since it is an enabling provision, a discretion is vested in the State to consider if reservation should be given under the circumstances mentioned under those articles.

The bench said: “In the State of Kerala, there is an Act called the Kerala Education Act, 1958, which regulates admissions and appointments to both, the Government and other recognized institutions. No special provision is indicated by the Learned Counsel for grant of reservation to the Petitioner. Economically weaker sections in the society as per the 103rd Constitution Amendment as stated, Article 15 (6) is only a competent provision.”

The Supreme Court, last week, referred a batch of Writ Petitions seeking 10 percent quota for EWS, to a five-judge bench.

Read the judgment here;

Kerala-HC

-India Legal Bureau

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