The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to reply to a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of the government’s pre-matric scholarship scheme for minority community students.
Jyotika Wale, a Pune-based social worker, filed the PIL contending that the scheme violates the fundamental right of equality as stated in the Constitution of India.
Aniruddha Rajput, Wale’s counsel, contended that the constitutional framework requires an exercise of identifying educationally and socially backward groups before implementing such schemes on the basis of caste. It violates article 15 of the constitution, he said.
The court, however, felt that one scheme could not be considered in isolation when there are hundreds of such schemes for the various backward groups.
Rui Rodricks, counsel for the Centre, submitted that the scheme was based on detailed findings of the Justice Sachchar Committee report.