High Court wants review of ‘student sponsor’ scheme

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has observed that a scheme introduced by Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department to sponsor students who performed well in Class X examinations to private schools for higher secondary course may require a review.

A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and S. Ananthi observed that the review needs to be done in view of the 7.5 % reservation introduced to NEET-qualified government school students in medical courses.

The court made the observation while disposing of an appeal preferred by a medical aspirant N. Soundarya of Karur. She performed well in the Class X examinations and was sponsored by the State to study higher secondary course in a private school. As she had studied her higher secondary (Class XI and Class XII) in a private school, she was not eligible under the 7.5 % reservation for NEET-qualified government school students. Noting that this was a hard case, a single bench had dismissed her plea for consideration.

She preferred an appeal against the order. During the course of the hearing, the State told the court that if the plea of the candidate was taken into due consideration, it would open a Pandora’s box, as there were other similarly placed candidates.

After it was submitted that as per a previous order a seat was reserved in a dental college, the court said the candidate cannot be made to suffer for having performed well under the scheme. Taking note of the fact that she had performed well in NEET, the court directed the State to give admission to the candidate in the dental college in Chennai where the seat had been reserved.

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