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The Director of School Education Government of Tamil Nadu and anr. Vs. Rev. Brother G. Arogiasamy S.H.J. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 386 of 1970
Judge
Reported inAIR1971Mad440; (1971)1MLJ325
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 15(1), 19, 29(2) and 30(1)
AppellantThe Director of School Education Government of Tamil Nadu and anr.
RespondentRev. Brother G. Arogiasamy S.H.J.
Cases ReferredSidhrajbhai v. State of Gujarat
Excerpt:
.....slender chances of admission, contrary to the protection afforded by article 30(1). the impugned order is no doubt conceived in public interest to ensure proper standards in the matter of admission to basic and non-basic training schools. but when applied to a minority institution, its effect is not to its benefit from its own point of view. - - .....the view that the learned judge was right.2. the respondent is the correspondent of christhuraja basic training school, palayamcottai, and represents the society of the brothers of the sacred heart of jesus, palayamcottai. the christhuraja basic training school is one of several schools run by the society. the society consists of members professing the roman catholic faith among whose objects, as it is said, is promotion of education by establishing and administering schools and colleges. the society says that members professing that faith and belonging to the society are a minority community within the meaning of article 30(1) of the constitution of india. that this, is so is not id dispute. it is also not in controversy that the society has established several educational.....
Judgment:
1. This appeal is from an order of Alagiriswami J. by which he allowed the respondent's petition to quash G. O. Ms. 767 (Education) dated 10-6-1969. The learned Judge held that the impugned order was violative of Art. 30(1) of the Constitution. We are of the view that the learned Judge was right.

2. The respondent is the Correspondent of Christhuraja Basic Training School, Palayamcottai, and represents the Society of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Palayamcottai. The Christhuraja Basic Training School is one of several schools run by the Society. The Society consists of members professing the Roman Catholic faith among whose objects, as it is said, is promotion of education by establishing and administering schools and colleges. The Society says that members professing that faith and belonging to the Society are a minority community within the meaning of Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India. That this, is so is not id dispute. It is also not in controversy that the Society has established several educational institutions including the Christhuraja Basic Training school at Palayamcottai and it has been functioning over 20 years. It has been permanently recognised and receives aid from Government. The cost of maintaining the institution it appears is met out of donations from well wishers, fees wherever permitted from scholars and grant-in-aid from the State Government. The practice, according to the respondent, is that the Management of the Basic Training School had been all along selecting candidates form among those students qualified in accordance with the qualifications prescribed by the Government and with Rule 132 of the Madras Educational Rules. As a minority community it has the right of not only establishing schools such as the Christhuraja Basic Training School, but also administering it. The fundamental right guaranteed by Article 30(1) of the Constitution guarantees both the aspects, namely, both establishment and administration of minority institutions. So far, we find, there is again no controversy. The State also admits that admission of students to particular classes of schools belonging to the minority community is within the substance of the right under Article 30(1).

3. Even so, the appellant, which is the State, contends that it has the right to make reasonable regulations in the form of the impugned Government Order. The order amends the earlier G. O. No. 1090 (Education) dated 27-5-1960. In the Government Order of 1960 it was laid down that a list of candidates selected by the District Educational Officer or the Inspectors of Girls Schools, as the case may be, before the selected candidates were actually admitted into the Training Schools. This procedure was extended from time to time upto 1969. In that year the Government reviewed the position and decided that in the matter of scrutiny of the list of candidates selected for admission into Government and aided training schools an uniform procedure should be followed. The Government accordingly directed that a list of candidates selected for admission by the aided training schools, both basic and non-basic, men and women, should be scrutinised by the Scrutiny Committee consisting of the Chief Educational Officer concerned and a non-official member appointed by Government and that no candidate should be admitted before the list is approved by the Scrutiny Committee. The Government Order of 1960 had provided a maximum of 100 marks at the interview and these marks were to be apportioned equally for five items, namely, personality, general knowledge, special abilities, skill in handicrafts and special considerations. By the impugned Government Order the maximum was altered to 75 and it was directed that 25 marks should be allocated for handwriting, music, drama, 25 marks for general knowledge and the remaining 25 marks for aptitude for teaching, personality, special abilities and distinction in sports. The selection of candidates for admission should be done by the school authorities by interviewing every candidate eligible for admission and assessing and awarding marks under each of the above three categories. The marks scored by each candidate, in the interview will be added to the marks secured by the candidate in the S. S. L. C. public examination. On the basis of the aggregate of the marks in the S. S. L. C. examination and those obtained at the interview added together, the selection will be made without any further discretion. In making the selection the selecting authority must also see that representation was duly given to the candidates belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and to the Backward communities, that is to say, 16% for the former and 25% for the latter in accordance with the rules in force. The Scrutiny Committee must enforce this system. Any school which failed to follow it will be exposed to serious action by the Education Department including imposition of cut in the grant.

4. Article 30(1) of the Constitution, entitles a minority community, whether based on religion or language not only to establish but also administer educational institutions of their choice. These rights are absolute and unqualified. They are not subject to any restrictions unlike the fundamental rights under Art. 19. The right to administer, it has been held in Sidhrajbhai v. State of Gujarat, AIR 1963 SC 540 includes the right to admit students of their choice. But that is not to say that the State is not entitled to make reasonable regulations. AIR 1963 SC 540, on this aspect said:

"Regulation made in the true interests of efficiency of institution discipline, health, sanitation, morality, public order and the like may undoubtedly be imposed. Such regulations are not restrictions on the substance of the right which is guaranteed; they secure the proper functioning of the institutions, in matters educational."

But, at the same time, what is important to notice is that such a regulation should be conceived and made form the standpoint of and for the benefit of the minority institution in the matter of its establishment and its administration. General standards to be achieved by the regulations may be good from the public point of view; but enforcement of such general standards in a minority institution may destroy or defeat or severely curtail the protection given to it by Article 30(1). The regulations can only be made in the interests of the institution and they cannot be made in the interests of outsiders.

5. What is the effect of the impugned order? In our opinion, it places serious restrictions on the freedom of the minority institutions to make admissions of student according to their choice. It throws the students of the minority community into a competition with the generality of students belonging to that and all other communities. The applications for admission to any institution cannot be restricted to a particular community because of Articles 15(1) and 29(2). The result is the students of the Roman Catholic Community, which is said to represent less than ten per cent of the total population, when in competition with students of the other communities who have all applied for admission, obviously will have but slender chances of admission, contrary to the protection afforded by Article 30(1). It is true the impugned order is conceived in public interest to ensure proper standards in the matter of admission to basic and non-basic training schools. That is good by itself. But when applied to a minority institution, its effect is not to its benefit from its own point of view. That is forbidden by Article 30(1).

6. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs.

100.

7. Appeal dismissed.


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