Chitralekha v. State of Mysore

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These two appeals raise the question of the validity, of the orders made by the Government of Mysore in respect of admissions to Engineering and Medical Colleges in the State of Mysore. The facts may be briefly stated: in the State of Mysore there are a number of Engineering and Medical Colleges-most of them are Government Colleges and a few of them are Government aided Colleges. The State Government appointed a common selection committee for settling admissions to the Engineering Colleges and another common selection committee for settling admissions to Medical Colleges. The Government by an order dated July 26, 1963, marked as Ex. C in the High Court, defined backward classes and directed that 30 per cent of the seats in professional and technical colleges and institutions shall be reserved for them and 18 per cent. to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. On July 6, 1963, the Government sent a letter to the Director of Technical Education in Mysore, Bangalore, informing him that it had been decided that 25 per cent of the maximum marks for the examination in the optional subjects taken into account for making the selection of candidates for admission to Engineering Colleges shall be fixed as interview marks; it also laid down the criteria for allotting marks in the interview. It appears that a similar order was issued in respect of Medical Colleges. The selection committee converted the total of the marks in the optional subjects to a maximum of 300 marks and fixed the maximum marks for interview at 75. On the basis of the marks obtained by the candidates in the examination and those -obtained in the interview, selections were made for admission to Engineering and Medical Colleges. Some of the candidates whose applications for admission to the said colleges were rejected filed petitions under Art. 226 of the Constitution in the High Court of Mysore for quashing the orders issued by the Government in the matter of admissions to the said Colleges and for a direction that they shall be admitted in the Colleges strictly in the order of merit. The High Court, after considering the various contentions raised by the petitioners, held that the orders defining backwardness were valid and that the criteria laid down for interview of students were good; but it held that -the selection committee had abused the powers conferred upon it and on that finding set aside the interviews held and directed that the applicants shall be interviewed afresh in accordance with the scheme laid down by the Government in Exs. C and D and in Annexure IV, subject to the directions given by it. Two of the petitioners have filed the present appeals against the said order of the High Court.We shall now proceed to deal with the various contentions raised by learned counsel for the appellants.

Learned counsel for the appellants contends that the Government did not issue any order to the selection corn- mittee in charge of admissions to Medical Colleges prescrib- ing the marks for interview or fixing the criteria for allotting the said marks. Annexure IV dated July 6, 1963, relates to award of marks for the interview of candidates, seeking admission to Engineering Colleges and Technical Institutions. It was a letter written by the Secretary to the Government of Mysore, Education Department, to the Director of Technical Education in Mysore Bangalore. Therein the Government fixed the percentage of marks to be allotted at the interview. The selection committee was authorised to allot marks to the candidates, having regard to the following factors: (1) General Knowledge. (2) Aptitude and personality. (3) Previous academic career, including special distinctions, etc. (4) N . C.C., A.C.C., etc. (5) Extra curricular activities including sports, social service, debating, dramatics, etc