Mumbai, July 6 (IANS) Bombay High Court Monday struck down the Maharashtra government’s proposal to reserve 90 percent of college seats in the state for students from the state board.
The government had proposed only 10 percent of seats in junior colleges for students from Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ISCE). The rest were for students passing the Class 10 exam conducted by the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
Spelling a major setback to the state government, a division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari also lambasted the authorities for taking a “hasty decision” in the matter.
This is the second time in two years that the court has pulled up the government for its attempt to ensure that over 200,000 students of the state board get the measured share of seats and that the 25,000 students from other boards did not get an upper hand in admissions to prestigious colleges.
The judges’ ruling came in the final hearing of a plethora of petitions challenging the government resolution on the 90:10 seat sharing formula, which they termed as “arbitrary, un-constitutional and taken without application of mind”.
The judgement was welcomed by parents of students hailing from the CBSE/ICSE boards who were anxiously waiting for the admissions to begin for the junior colleges for the academic year 2009-2010.
The court said the decision was brought in for political ambitions and to favour the local board students. It “itself was self-contradictory, self-discriminative and conflicting with the objectives with which it was introduced”, the judges observed.
The court felt that the classification of students as coming from the state board and non state boards was “artificial and imaginary”.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan asserted that they would not challenge the order in the Supreme Court. “We respect the court order,” he said.
Chavan said the 90:10 formula decision was taken after due consideration of the number of students from the state board and non-state boards.