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Schools cannot compel students to disclose caste: SC
September 17, 2007 17:48 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday said schools in the country cannot compel students to disclose their caste status at the time of admission. Any such disclosure shall be optional, or in other words, it should be left to the discretion of the student to divulge his/her caste identity, a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said.
The bench, however, dismissed a PIL filed by an 81-year-old freedom fighter, Salemvelu Gandhi alias Velu, from Tamil Nadu who sought a complete ban on "caste disclosure" forms circulated by schools to students during admissions.
The apex court, while appreciating the laudable objective of the petitioner, said it cannot pass any direction on the issue as it would create problems for those who want to avail free scholarships and other benefits.
The bench said the school-leaving certificate forms the basis for SCs, STs and BCs pursuing higher education or seeking jobs, as otherwise such beneficiaries would not be able to get the benefits.