The Best-Five formula was introduced with an intention to reduce stress on Class 10 students of SSC Board, the state government told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday while responding to a petition challenging the formula.
The high court will decide on Wednesday about the formula as the state refused to consider Best-Five marks of ICSE students while admitting them to junior colleges.
After arguments, the high court asked the counsel for ICSE Board how much time the board would take to issue fresh certificates, including the Best-5 marks, to Class 10 students in Maharashtra.
After the counsel failed to give a time, division bench of Acting Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari asked Advocate General Ravi Kadam if the state would consider Best-Five percentage of ICSE students — from their present certificates — for junior college admissions.
“The formula is to help those students who are otherwise bright in all subjects but weak in one,” said Kadam.
“We have brought in the legislation for our students and other boards are also free to adopt the same,” said Kadam adding: “They (parents of ICSE Board students) have sought extension of the facility for the students, who has stopped the ICSE Board from doing so?”
Arguing for the petitioners, Rafiq Dada said the decision to adopt Best-Five formula was taken without application of mind. He added that the SSC Board has not mentioned Regulation 56 (of Maharashtra Higher Secondary Education Regulations) in its correspondence with the state but the state has sanctioned amendment of the regulation.
Dada said the formula was an attempt to bring in reservation from the backdoor. “Although, the purpose cited is to achieve uniformity, the formula is creating disparity,” he said.
ICSE Board’s counsel Raju Subramanyam referred to the judgment in SSC quota case, in which the high court has held any direct or indirect steps taken to jeopardise the rights of meritorious students would amount to violation of their fundamental rights.