The Maharashtra government's proposal to reserve 90 % of college seats in the state for students from the state board, was struck down on Monday by the Bombay High Court. The government had proposed only 10 % of seats in junior colleges for students from Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ISCE). The rest were for students passing the Class 10 exam conducted by the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Spelling a major setback to the state government, a division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari also lambasted the authorities for taking a 'hasty decision' in the matter.
This is the second time in two years that the court has pulled up the government for its attempt to ensure that over 200,000 students of the state board get the measured share of seats and that the 25,000 students from other boards did not get an upper hand in admissions to prestigious colleges. The judges' ruling came in the final hearing of a plethora of petitions challenging the government resolution on the 90:10 seat sharing formula, which they termed as 'arbitrary, un-constitutional and taken without application of mind.' The judgement was welcomed by parents of students hailing from the CBSE/ICSE boards who were anxiously waiting for the admissions to begin for the junior colleges for the academic year 2009-2010. The court felt that the classification of students as coming from the state board and non state boards was 'artificial and imaginary.'