K. Veeraswami, C.J.
1. The petitioners are from the Kanyakumari District and claim to belong to the Church of South India, and originally to South Indian United Church of the erstwhile Travan-core-Cochin State. In G. O. Ms. 1717 dated 12-7-1961, which amended G. O. Ms. 1300 dated 26-7-1957 the C. S. I. Christians of Kanyakumari District and Shenkottah Taluk of Tirunelveli District, were added to and treated as backward class for purposes of educational concessions. G. O. Ms. No. 1013 Health dated 26-9-1968 stated that Rule 5(b) (1) relating to reservation of seats for socially and educationally backward classes was amended to read--
'For the purpose of this rule socially and educationally backward classes will mean those classes which are declared as such by Government'
In the prospectus issued in respect of the first year Integrated M. B. B. S. course, 1969-70, this particular community has not been mentioned as belonging to the backward class. The result was, all the petitioners were treated as (not being?) backward class and their merits were assessed, for purposes of selection to the course, on that basis.
2. The contention for the petitioners, who have failed in the selection, is that when once Government classified the community as belonging to the backward class, and the same Government Order is still in force, it was unreasonable and illogical to omit the community from the list of backward classes appended to the prospectus. This very point was considered by a Division Bench of this Court in W. P. No. 3022 of 1968 (Mad) etc. and it was observed--
'The list of backward classes enclosed to the prospectus in these cases, does not include in its Nadar Christians of the Kanyakumari Dt., though, as per the Government memorandum mentioned above, such Nadar Christians would be entitled to educational concessions. We would have considered the fact that the petitioner is a Nadar Christian of the Kanyakumari Dt., a community which has been declared to be a backward class for educational purposes in the Government Memorandum mentioned above, as a strong circumstance entitling the petitioner to the relief she claims, but for one important point, namely, that when we examined the mark list for the purpose of ascertaining the marks of the petitioner it was found that she got only 170 marks which is less than the minimum for the backward class, namely, 180. Therefore, even if she is to be given the benefit of reservation for backward classes, she would not have been selected.'
3. Though, in that case, in view of the marks obtained by the particular candidate, both in the academic examination as also in the interview before the Committee she would, in any case, not be entitled to selection, the point was not finally decided there, the learned Judges sufficiently expressed their inclination. Independently of it, we take the same view. It is no doubt open to the Government, from time to time, to add to or subtract from the list of backward classes. But, once a classification has been made for educational purposes, by an order of Government and the order continues to be in force, we do not see how without expressly modifying that order by a proper decision of the Government, a mere omission of a particular community from the list of backward classes, appended to the prospectus, can justify elimination of the community from consideration as backward at the selection. To do so, will be unreasonable and illogical. It cannot be that, for the purpose of concession in educational institutions, a community is considered as backward and not so for the purposes of admission in educational institutions. There appears to be no substance in the dividing line. We consider, therefore, that the petitioners ought to have received consideration, at the selection, on the basis that they belong to a backward class.
4. In some of the applications filed by the petitioners, they have chosen to mention that they belong to the forward community, while making it clear that they were Nadar Christians from Kanyakumari Dt., belonging to the Church of South India. We do not think that the respondents can make any point out of this, because the classification of the petitioners as backward did not depend upon what they stated in the application against the relevant column, but whether they had mentioned in the application that they belonged to the Church of South India. Once that appeared on the record, it would be obvious that they belong to the backward class, subject to verification, of course, that they belong to the Church of South India.
5. The practical effect of our observations on these petitions will be as follows. So far as W. P. 2352 of 1969 is concerned, we find from the list of marks maintained by the Committee, which we have sent for and perused, that the petitioner, having the interview No. 10055, secured a total of 135 marks in the P. U. C. examination and 60 marks at the interview, thus a total of 195. The minimum required for a backward class candidate has been, as we are told by the learned Advocate General, fixed at 190. The learned Advocate General says that this candidate figures as No. 22 in the waiting list for the general pool and that, since there are 24 vacancies available under this head, there should naturally be no difficulty for this candidate to secure admission, even on the basis that she belongs to the forward class. It is sufficient to record this and formally allow this petition.
6. As far as W. P. No. 2385 of 1969 is concerned, the petitioner's interview number was 9864 and he secured 150 marks in the P. U. C. examination and 45 at his interview before the Committee, thus a total of 195. Treating this candidate as belonging to a backward class, we are of the view that he would be entitled to admission, because we are told that there is one vacancy available for the backward class and that the first candidate appearing in the waiting list for the backward class, has secured 190 marks only. The break-up of this is 150 at the P. U. C. examination and 40 at the interview. The learned Advocate General urged that the first candidate, who appears in the backward class waiting list, should have to be given notice before the petitioner in W. P. No. 2385 of 1969 succeeds. But the requirement, we think, is too formal a matter, for, the learned Advocate General has placed all the necessary facts and circumstances for our consideration, and we have ourselves looked into the mark list maintained by the Committee at the interview, W. P. No. 2385 of 1969 is, therefore, allowed.
7. So far as the other petitions are concerned, on an examination of their marks at the P. U. C., or B, Sc, examination and at the interviews, we are satisfied that they fall far below the minimum required for the backward classes and they could not, in any event, get admission. In W. P, 2509 of 1969, the petitioner obtained 120 and 60 at the P. U. C. and interview respectively, the petitioner in W. P. No. 2510 of 1969 got at the B. Sc. 100 and at the interview only 15, the petitioner in W. P. No. 2173 of 1969 obtained 145 at the P. U. C. and at the interview only 30 and the petitioner in W. P. No. 2262 of 1969 fared no better, because he obtained only 140 at the P. U. C. and 45 at the interview. W. P. Nos. 2173, 2509, 2510, 2262 and 2488 of 1969 are all dismissed. In the last petition we may mention that the candidate obtained 120 at the P. U. C. and 45 at the interview. There will be no order as to costs in W. P. Nos. 2173, 2352, 2262 and 2385 of 1969.
8. In W. P. Nos. 2352 and 2385 of 1969, the petitioners before securing admission, should satisfy the Director of Medical Education that they belong to the Church of South India, by producing a certificate from the Protestant Bishop of Kanya-kumari.