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Kerala govt opposes plea challenging reservation policy and fee waiver in KSCSA

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Kochi, Sep 30: The Kerala government has opposed a plea filed in the High Court challenging the admission policy of Kerala Civil Service Academy (KSCSA) giving reservations and fee waiver to certain sections including a religious minority, contending that there were valid and justifiable reasons for taking such a decision.

In its counter-affidavit filed in the high court in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the President of the Democratic Social Justice Party (DSJP), the state government said there is no illegality or arbitrariness in the decision as the total percentage of reservation in all the centres taken together has not exceeded 50 per cent.

Kerala govt opposes plea challenging reservation policy and fee waiver in KSCSA

"The contention urged by the petitioner that there is violation in the permissible limit of reservation is not sustainable. The total number of seats reserved taken together in all institutions is within the permissible limit," the state government said.

The writ petition of DSJP state president KSR Menon had prayed to declare the admission policy of the academy at centres at Institute of Career Studies and Research (ICSR), Ponnani and KSCSA, Kalliassery as violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 15 and hence unconstitutional.

The writ also prayed for quashing the admission policy as it provided reservation beyond the permissible limits of 50 per cent laid down by various court rulings including the Supreme Court.

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The counter-affidavit filed by an Under Secretary from the Higher Education Department submitted that the petitioner was the president of a political party and so cannot be treated as a person in the eyes of law and does not have the locus standi to file the petition.

It also said that based on the Paloli Mohammed Kutty Committee report, the government permitted 50 per cent reservation at Ponnani centre to only Muslim students who were also given full fee waiver for the academic year 2022-2023.

In a release, the DSJP said the courses to which admissions were being offered were the Civil Services Prelims-cum-Mains (Regular Batch) and two-year Civil Service Prelims-cum-Mains, Civil Service Foundation Course, Talent Development Course and Kerala Administrative Service.

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