S.C. Sharma, J.
1. The petitioner before this Court, who is a student, has filed this present petition challenging the constitutional validity of "Mukhyamantri Medhavi Vidhyarthi Yojna", which is a scheme floated by the State of Madhya Pradesh to promote and encourage the students, who have passed 12th Standard Examination with certain percentage of marks. The petitioner is aggrieved by Clause- 2.3 of the scheme and the same provides that the students, who have passed 12th Standard Examination from Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education, are entitled for incentives under the scheme, in case, they have obtained 75 % or more than 75 % and the students, who have passed 12th Class Examination from CBSC/ICSC Board and who have obtained 85 % marks or above are entitled for incentives under the scheme.
2. The petit
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ioner's contention is that the scheme, which discriminates between students, who have passed 12th Standard Examination from M.P. Board of Secondary Education and CBSE/ICSE Board is discriminatory. The petitioner has been admitted to M.B.B.S. course and has secured 79 % marks in the year 2016 from Central Board of Secondary Education and as per the scheme, he is not eligible for the incentives under the scheme. Under the scheme, a student is entitled for complete reimbursement of fees in respect of the courses they have joined after 12th Standard subject to certain terms and conditions. The relevant clauses of the scheme, which are necessary for deciding the present writ petition reads as under:-
3. Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued before this Court that there cannot be a discrimination, as has been done by the State Government in respect of the students, who have passed 12th Standard from CBSE and in respect of the students, who have passed from M.P. Board of Secondary Education, and therefore, the scheme deserves to be quashed and a uniform percentage of marks should be prescribed for all such students, who have passed 12th Standard Examination irrespective of their Board.
4. Respondents/State have filed a reply and it has been stated that the technical education and the skill development department of Madhya Pradesh has floated a scheme known as "Mukhyamantri Medhavi Vidhyarthi Yojna" and the students, who have passed 12th Standard Examination from CBSE/ICSE Board with 85 % marks and the students, who have passed 12th Standard Examination from M.P. Higher Secondary Board with 75 % marks are eligible for fee reimbursement (higher education free of cost) subject to certain terms and conditions.
5. The respondents have further stated that it is a policy matter because schools affiliated with M.P. Secondary Board of Education is situated in rural areas and the CBSE schools are mostly running in urban areas with all kind of facilities to such children, and therefore, in order to provide equal advantage to poor students of rural areas, difference of percentage has been provided.
6. The respondent have also stated that they have evaluated the course in respect of M.P. Secondary Board of Education as well as in respect of CBSE and vide letter dated 28.09.2017, it has been clarified by the State Government that 90 % marks of CBSE Board are equivalent to 82 % marks of M.P. Secondary Board of Education and in those circumstances, the cut-off marks have been prescribed under the policy. With such contention, the respondents have prayed for dismissal of the present writ petition.
7. A rejoinder has been filed in the matter and learned counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance on several judgments i.e. in the cases of State of Uttar Pradesh v/s Pradeep Tandon reported in 1975 AIR 563, Dr. Kirti Lakhina v/s State of Karnataka passed in Writ Petition (Civil) No.204/2018, Dr. Pradeep Jain Etc. v/s Union of India & Others reported in 1984 AIR 1420, Jagdish Saran & Others v/s Union of India & Others reported in 1980 AIR 820, Kailash Chand Sharma v/s State of Rajasthan and Others passed in Case No. Appeal (Civil) 417 of 2002, N.K. Batra & Others v/s the Kurukshetra University & Others reported in AIR 1990 P & H 32, Nilay Parag Joshi v/s State of Gujrat passed in Special Civil Application No.5749 of 2017, Sangita Shah & Others v/s Sate of Maharashtra & Others reported in (2010) 112 BLR 2593 and V.S. Sai Sachin v/s The State of Tamilnadu & Others passed in Writ Petitioner No.16341/2017.
8. This Court has carefully gone through the judgment relied upon by learned counsel for the petitioner. However, the present case is distinguishable on facts, as the criteria has been prescribed by the State Government for eligibility in respect of refund of fees to class of students hailing from weaker section of the society. The CBSE schools are normally situated in cities with all kinds of infrastructure and facilities and in remote areas in tribal areas, the schools affiliated with M.P. Secondary Board of Education, are situated. A common man hailing from low income group or from lower strata of society, cannot even think about sending his child to doon school, to other public schools and even to schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education and his child is admitted in the nearby school situated in remote/tribal area, which is affiliated to Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education.
9. Unfortunately, even after so many years of independence, we have not been able to provide uniform platform for all children in respect of schooling. Selection of school certainly depends upon financial status of the family and place of residence of the family. It is only the M.P. Board of Secondary Education, which is having affiliated schools in all rural areas catering to the need of weaker section of the society.
10. The policy, by no stretch of imagination, framed by the State Government, can be said to be discriminatory. It is not based upon caste, creed or culture, but it is based upon the financial needs and merits of the students. It is reiterated that the schools under the M.P. Board are primarily situated in rural and less developed areas of the State, whereas the schools under the CBSE/ICSE Board are primarily located in urban areas and more developed areas of the State. The facilities available in M.P. Board Schools are not at par in comparison to the schools under CBSE/ICSE Board.
11. Facilities like schools' infrastructure, classroom, campus, laboratories, fields, cleanliness, teaching staff quality and their qualifications, teacher-student ratio, personal attention to students etc. are certainly much better available in CBSE/ICSE schools in comparison to M.P. Board schools, and therefore, in order to attain parity between students of M.P. Board and CBSE/ICSE Board, their qualifying percentage has been kept 75 % and 85 % respectively.
12. The Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of State of West Bengal v/s Anwar Ali Sarkar reported in AIR 1952 SC 75 has held that in order to pass the test of permissible classification, two conditions must be fulfilled viz. (i) that the classification must be founded on an intelligible differentia, which distinguishes those that are grouped together from others left out of the group, and (ii) that the differentia must have a rational relation to the objects sought to be achieved by the Act. The differentia which is the basis of the classification and the object of the Act are distinct and what is necessary is that there must be nexus between them.
13. This Court is of the considered opinion that classification in terms of eligibility percentage is certainly not at all arbitrary. The eligibility percentage criteria has been provided keeping in view two different categories. There is no arbitrariness, so far as Clause- 2.3 of the Mukhya Mantri Medhavi Vidhyarthi Yojna is concerned and in fact, it has been incorporated to ensure welfare of a particular deprived classes, who are not able to sent the children to public school and to schools affiliated to CBSE/ICSE.
14. In the considered opinion of this Court, the petitioner has not been able to make out any case for interference and by no stretch of imagination, it can be said that Clause-2.3 of Mukhya Mantri Medhavi Vidhyarthi Yojna is violating the constitutional rights of the petitioner.
Resultantly, the present writ petition stands dismissed. Certified copy, as per rules.