The High Court of Gujarat on 15 February 2013 ordered the state Government to implement the Centre's Pre-matriculation Scholarship Scheme for students of minority community in the state. The court rejected the contention of Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the state of in implementation of the Centre's pre-matriculation scholarship scheme by stating it discriminatory.
From the High Court Bench of five judges, three namely Justices V M Sahai, D H Vaghela and Akil Kureshi supported the implementation of the scheme upholding its constitutional validity and declared that equating it with any particular type of reservation was not possible, whereas two judges namely Justice R R Tripathi and J B Pardiwala ruled against the scheme.
The orders of the court came after hearing of the PILs launched against the State Government’s decision to hold on the implementation of the Centre's pre-matriculation scholarship scheme since 2008, when the scheme was launched across the country. The Court in its majority verdict established that the scheme doesn’t violate the provisions mentioned in the Article 15 (1) of the Constitution of India. Whereas the minority verdict identified that the scheme violated the provisions of the section.
Pre-matriculation Scholarship Scheme for Minority Communities
The Centre's pre-matriculation scholarship scheme is a scheme run by the Central Government of India and it covers students, who belong to five religious minorities including Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and Parsi with annual income below 1 lakh rupees.
Under the provisions of the scheme, the central government provides 75 percent scholarship to students covered under the scheme and the rest 25 percent is the responsibility of the State Government.
• The Scholarship is provided to students from minority community up to tenth class, who are studying in private as well as Government schools.
• The main objective of the scholarship is to empower the country through education and create a potential of upliftment of the socio economic conditions of minority community
• Monetary benefits are also provided to the deserving candidates to help the families of these students and to encourage other families of the minority community to send their children to schools