FIR not a reason to deny admission to educational institutions: HC

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Observing that pendency of a First Information Report (FIR) (against a person) cannot be cited as a reason to deny him/her admission in educational institutions, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court directed a Government Arts College in Karur to admit a 20-year-old youth in M.A. History course.

Justice M Sundar passed the order on a petition filed by one K Suranthran of Karur, who belongs to Revolutionary Students Youth Federation (RSYF). Suranthran had graduated B.A. History from the aforementioned college and had applied for post-graduation course in the same discipline. But the college administration, after receiving a communication from police authorities seeking details, including petitioner’s attendance particulars, academic performance and behaviour in the college, had rejected his application citing a pending FIR against him.

Hearing the case, Justice Sundar noted that the college had denied admission to the petitioner, despite him being a meritorious student and several seats for the said course remaining vacant, only on the sole ground that he has an FIR pending against him.

Pointing out that an FIR is not a proof of guilt and that the person shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court, the Judge opined that the college authorities assumed the role of prosecutors, juries and judges. The action of the college is violating Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to education, the judge held and passed the above order.

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