|Case No.||W.P.No. 27498 of 2019||Date of Filing||09/09/2019||Status||Pending||Petitioners||Chandran U||Respondents||1. The Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), 2. State of Tamil Nadu, Department of Higher Education, Rep by its Secretary & 3. State of Tamil Nadu, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Rep. by its Secretary.|
This case deals with the admission of a student who completed the Vocational Stream in Class 12 to Respondent No. 1 TANUVAS. The Prospectus of TANUVAS for the academic year 2019-20 distinguished between students from Academic and Vocational Streams. Academic Stream students could apply for 4 of the courses offered by TANUVAS (B.Tech (Food Technology), B.Tech (Poultry), B.Tech (Dairy Technology) and B.V. Sc. & A.H.) while Vocational Stream students could only apply for the B.V. Sc. & A.H. course. Further, out of the 360 seats available for the B.V. Sc. & A.H. course, 5% of seats were reserved for vocational stream students and 95% were reserved for Academic Stream students.
Also, community reservations were provided as follows:
|Community Category||% Reservation|
|Backward Class (Muslims)||3.5%|
|Most Backward Class / Denotified Communities||20%|
|Scheduled Caste Arunthathiyars||3%|
Therefore, as per this division, only 5% of 360 seats i.e. 18 seats are available for Vocational Stream students in the B.V. Sc. & A.H. course out of which 1% reservation has been provided to STs.
The Petitioner belongs to the Scheduled Tribe community from a remote village where he is the only person to have studied up to the 12th standard. For his secondary education, he pursued the Vocational Stream where he studied Biology, Agricultural Practices – Theory, Agricultural Practices – Practical I and Practical II through Tamil Medium. He scored 444 out of 600 (74%) in the State Board of School Examination, Tamil Nadu for Class 12.
The Petitioner applied for the B.V. Sc. & A.H. degree undergraduate course offered by TANUVAS on 13.05.2019 for the academic year 2019-20. As per the rank list published by the University on 24.07.2019, the Petitioner ranked 146 among all the Vocational Stream Candidates and in the Scheduled Tribe Category, he has secured the first rank.
Despite this, the University did not call the Petitioner for the counselling on the ground that no ST person from the Vocational Stream is eligible for admission as all the 18 (out of 360) seats meant for Vocational Stream are allotted to General, BC, MBC, BC (M), SC, and SCA candidates. TANUVAS took the stand that 1% reservation for ST category would come to meagre 0.18 seats and therefore, an ST category student will not be eligible.
CLPR is representing the Petitioner, who approached the Madras High Court seeking directions to quash the Prospectus of TANUVAS and the G.O. (D) No.111 dated 12.06.2012 to the extent that it provides only 5% reservation to the Vocational Stream candidates and direct the Respondent No.1 to enhance the quota of admission in the B.V. Sc. & A.H degree course for students from the Vocational Stream. The additional relief sought was that at least 1 seat be reserved for the ST category in the B.V. Sc. & A.H. degree program.
The Petitioner argued that denial of a seat to ST category students who studied in the Vocational Stream amounts to a violation of Section 4(2)(d) of Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 which provides for 1% reservations for STs. Further, the Petitioner contends that Vocational Stream students are not allowed to apply to 1 out of 4 courses offered by the University and a mere mathematical anomaly, as in this case, cannot be a ground to violate the right to equality guaranteed under the Article 14 of the Constitution of India, 1950.
The Petitioner further argued that by providing a meagre 5% seats to the Vocational Stream while providing 95% seats to Academic Streams, TANUVAS and the Government have ensured that students from the ST category do not get even a single seat even after applying the State’s reservation policy.
The Hon’ble Madras High Court has issued notice to Respondents. Further, it has directed TANUVAS to file documents showing the basis on which reservation has been made for the students under the Vocational Stream. Further, the State Government has been directed to file a counter affidavit by 09.03.2020.