තම දරුවාව පළමු වසරට, ඇතුළත් කර ගන්නා ලෙසට අයදුම්පතක් කොළඹ 03, බගතලේ පාරේ, කාලික් ජවුෆර්, කොළඹ රාජකීයට ඉදිරිපත් කළේය.
එය රාජකීය විදුහල්පති ප්රමුඛ සම්මුඛ පරීක්ෂණ මණ්ඩලය ප්රතික්ෂේප කළේ ළකුණු 0.95 ක් අඩුය යන පදනම යටතේය.
ළකුණු දීම වැරදි බව ප්රකාශ කරමින්, කාලික් ජවුෆර් හා ඔහුගේ පුත් මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර්, ශ්රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයට ගියේ රාජකීය විදුහල්පති, තමන්ගේ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් උල්ලංඝණය කර ඇතැයි චෝදනා කරමින්ය.
වාර්තාගත කාලයක් එනම් වසරකටත් අඩු කාලයක් තුළ මෙම මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් නඩුව විභාග කළ ශ්රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය, රාජකීය විදුහලේ විදුහල්පතිවරයා, ඞී.ඒ. අබේරත්න වරදක් කර ඇති බවට තීරණය කර, වහාම, මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර්ව විදුහලේ පළමු වසරට ඇතුළත් කරන ලෙසට නියෝග කළේය.
මෙම නඩු තීන්දුවේ සඳහන් කරුණු සමාජ කථිකාවට වැදගත්වන බව අපගේ නිගමනයයි.
තීන්දු ප්රකාශනයේ සඳහන් පරිදි,
2019 වසරට පළමු වසරට ළමුන් ඇතුළත් කිරීම සඳහා වූ 2018 මැයි 31 දාතමින් යුතු අධ්යාපන අමාත්යාංශයේ චක්රලේඛනය ප්රකාරව,
1. ආසන්නතම පදිංචිකරුවන්ට වෙන්වූ කොටාව 50%
2. ආදි සිසුන්ගේ දරුවන්වෙන්වූ කොටාව 25%
3. දනටමත් පාසලේ ඉගෙන ගන්නා සිසුන්ගේ සහෝදරයන් වෙන්වූ කොටාව 15%
4. අධ්යාපන අමාත්යාංශයේ, රජයේ පාසල්වල ඉගැන්වීම් කටයුතු වල දෙමාපියන්ගේ දරුවන්වෙන්වූ කොටාව 05%
5. ස්ථාන මාරු ලැබූ රාජ්ය සේවයේ දරුවන් වෙන්වූ කොටාව 04%
6. විදේශ රටවලින් පැමිණි දෙමාපියන්ගේ දරුවන්වෙන්වූ කොටාව 01%
මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර්, වැටුනේ පළමු ගණයටය. අසන්නයේ පදිංචිකරුවන්ගේ ගණයටය. ඉල්ලුම් කරන ලද පාසලට වඩා පදිංචියට ආසන්නතම වෙනත් පාසල් තිබේ නම් එක් පාසලකට හිමි ළකුණු ප්රමාණයෙන්, ළකුණු 2 බැගින් අඩු කිරීම කළ යුතුය.
ඒ අනුව මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර්ට ළකුණු 4 ක් අඩු විය. ඒ නිසාම ඔහුට හිමිවුනේ ළකුණු 55.2 කි. කඩඉම් ළකුණ 57.15 ක් විය.
මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර්ට ළකුණු 04 ක් අඩුවූ යේ ඔහු පදිංචි ස්ථානයට ආසන්නව තර්ස්ටන් විද්යාලය හා මහානාම විද්යාලය පිහිටීමය. නමුත් මහානාම විද්යාලයට ඇතුළත් කර ගන්නේ බෞද්ධ සිසුන් පමණක් බව මෙහිදී හෙළිවිය.
ඒ නිසා ඉස්ලාම් භක්තිකයෙකු වූ මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර්ට මහානාමයට ඇතුළත් විය නොහැක.
එම නිසා, එම පාසල ඔහුට ආසන්නතම පාසල විය නොහැකි බව ශ්රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය තීරණය කළේය. එය චක්රලේඛයෙන් ද පැහැදිළිය.
ඒ අනුව මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර් ට හිමිවිය යුතු ළකුණු ප්රමාණය 57.2 ක් විය යුතු ව තිබින. ඔහුට, කඩඉම් ළකුණට වඩා 0.95 ක වැඩි ළකුණු ප්රමාණයක් තිබිය යුතු බව නිගමනය විය.
ඒ අනුව මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර්ව, පළමු වසරට, ඇතුළත් කරන ලෙසට ශ්රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය රාජකීය විදුහල්පතිට නියෝග කළේය.
මෙම මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් නඩුව, 2019 වසරදී පවරන ලද්දක්. 2019.10.23 විභාගයට ගෙන 2019.11.01 තීන්දුව ප්රකාශයට පත්කරනු ලැබිය.
නඩුව විභාග කළේ, ශ්රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයේ විනිසුරු බුවනෙක අලූවිහාරේ, පී.පද්මන් සූරසේන හා ඊ.ඒ.පී.ආර්. අමරසේකර යන විනිසුරු මඩුල්ල ඉදිරියේදීය
පී.පද්මන් සූරසේන ශ්රේෂ්ඨාධාකරණ විනිසුරු ලබාදුන්න තීන්දුවට සෙසු විනිසුරුවන්ගේ අනුමැතිය හිමිවිය.
කාලික් ජවුෆර් හා මොහොමඞ් ෂාහිම් කාලික් ජවුෆර් වෙනුවෙන් සරිටා ද ෆොන්සේකා හා තිලිනි විදානගමගේ යන නීතිඥවරියන්ගේ උපදෙස් මත නීතිඥ විරාන් කොරයා පෙනී සිටින ලදි.
රාජකීය විදුහල්පති බී.ආර්. අබේරත්න ඇතුලූ වගඋත්තරකරුවන් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටියේ, ජේ්යෂ්ඨ රජයේ නීතිඥ රජීව ගුණතිලකය. තීන්දුව පහත දැක්වේ.
S C (F R) Application No. 140/ 2019
1. Khalique Jauffer,
2. Mohamed Shaheem Khalique Jauffer,
Both of 562/16 (also referred to as 562/16 B),
Lower Bagatalle Road,
1. B A Abeyrathna,
2. Thushantha Amaratunga,
3. Uditha Malalasekara,
4. D K Wickramasinghe,
5. Lalith Ganewatte,
1st to 5th Respondents are all members of the Interview Board (on admission of children to Grade 1 – year 2019),
C/O Royal College,
6. Sanjeewa Tharanga Leelarathne,
7. D S P Kalubowila,
8. L M D Dharmasena,
9. Y I Liyanage,
10. Dilani Suriyarachchi
6th to 10th Respondents are all members of the Appeal and Objection Investigation Board (on admission of children to Grade 1 – year 2019),
C/O Royal College,
11. Jayantha Wickremanayake
Director, National Schools,
Ministry of Education,
12. Padmasiri Jayamanne
Secretary to the Ministry of Education,
Ministry of Education,
13. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam,
Minister of Education,
Ministry of Education,
14. Hon. Attorney General,
Attorney General’s Department,
Before: Buwaneka Aluwihare PC J
P. Padman Surasena J
E. A. G. R. Amarasekara J
Counsel: Viran Corea with Sarita de Fonseka and Thilini Widanagamage for the Petitioners.
Rajiv Goonetillake SSC for the Attorney General.
Argued on : 23 – 10 – 2019
Decided on: 01 – 11 – 2019
P Padman Surasena J
The 1st Petitioner is the father of the 2nd Petitioner who is a minor and whose admission to Grade 1 of Royal College Colombo, was sought by an application1 made by the 1st Petitioner to the said school. Upon the 2nd Petitioner becoming unsuccessful in securing the admission to the said school, the 1st Petitioner has appealed to the Appeals Panel appointed by the School authorities. The Petitioners have not been successful at the said appeal too.
At the outset, this Court needs to bear in mind that the process of selection of children to Public schools is conducted in accordance with the provisions of the circular dated 31st May 2018 produced marked P 2 by the Petitioners. The 1st Respondent also has produced the said circular marked R 1. The said process envisaged by the said circular is a competitive process. According to clause 6.0 of this circular, a specified percentage of children are admitted to Grade 1 in public schools in each year, from each of the six categories set out below.
I. 50% of children of residents in close proximity to the school,
II. 25% of children of parents who are Past Pupils of the school,
III. 15% of children who are brothers/sisters of students already studying in the school,
IV. 05% of children of parents who are employed in an institution engaged in work directly related to public school education under the Ministry of Education,
V. 04% of children of parents of Government institutions/corporations/Statutory Boards/State Banks, who are
1 The application submitted by the 1st Petitioner has been produced by the 1st Respondent annexed to his affidavit marked R 2.
transferred on the exigencies of Government service or on annual transfer schemes,
VI. 01% of children of parents returning to the country after been abroad for some time.
As the process of admission of children to Grade 1 in public schools is a competitive one, the circular has devised a marking system2 relating to each of the above categories. The school authorities, after evaluation according to the marking scheme, prepares a list placing all the applicants according to the marks they have scored. It is thereafter that the school authorities decide on a cut-off mark and admit only the children who are placed above the said cut-off mark.
In the instant case, the 1st Petitioner (father) had sought admission of his son (the 2nd Petitioner) under the category of applicants who reside in close proximity to the school. It would be convenient as requested by the learned counsel for the Petitioners, to turn at this stage to some of the averments in the affidavit dated 20th September 2019, filed by the 1st Respondent who is the Principal of the school relevant to this application. Paragraph 11 and 12 are reproduced below for convenience.
“In terms of proximity, marks were deducted for two schools more proximate to the Petitioner than Royal College; (i) Mahanama College and (ii) Thurstan College Colombo. Thus the Petitioner was awarded 32 marks for proximity.”
2 Clauses 6.1 to 6.6 of P 2 (also marked R 1 by the 1st Respondent).
“In total, the Petitioners’ school admission application was awarded 55.2 marks. The cut off mark was 57.15 marks and hence the 2nd Petitioner was not selected for admission to Grade 1, Royal College.”
This Court can observe that the marking scheme embodied in this circular is designed to pave the way for the parents to admit their children to the Public school closest to their residence more conveniently than to the others. However, if a parent wishes to admit the child to a school of his or her choice which is not the public school closest to his residence, then he will lose four marks each in respect of each of the other public school situated closer to the residence of such parent than the school of his or her choice. 3
According to paragraph 11 of the affidavit filed by the 1st Respondent the Petitioners’ marks have been deducted in respect of two schools namely;
(i) Mahanama College and
(ii) Thurstan College Colombo.
This was on the basis that the said two schools are situated closer to the Petitioners’ residence than Royal College. It is in this manner that the school authorities have calculated and awarded 32 marks to the Petitioners for the close proximity of their residence to Royal College.
However, as has been pointed out by the learned counsel for the Petitioners, clause 7.2.4 of the circular marked P 2,4 has specified the criteria to be adopted when making a decision to deduct marks for the presence of other public schools situated closer to the residence of the applicant than the school of such applicant’s choice. (i.e. the school, such applicant has applied for). It is important to note that the said clause 7.2.4 does not authorize
3 Clause 7.2.4 of P 2 (R 1)
4 (Also marked R 2 by the 1st Respondent).
deduction of marks for the mere presence of other Public schools closer to the residence of the applicant than the school of such applicant’s choice.
Accordingly, marks must be deducted only in respect of any public school to which the child of such applicant could be admitted as per the criteria set out in the said clause. In the instant case, marks can be deducted only in respect of any public school to which the 2nd Petitioner could be admitted as per the criteria set out in the said clause (clause7.2.4).
This Court bearing in mind, the provisions in clause7.2.4 must now consider whether the deduction of four marks when evaluating the Petitioners’ application by the school authorities for the presence of Mahanama College in closer proximity to the Petitioners’ residence than Royal College.
As has been pointed out by the learned counsel for the Petitioners, letter dated 02nd August 2018 produced by the Petitioner marked P 27 (a) has confirmed that Mahanama College admits only the Buddhist children. According to the said letter, that is the reason given by Mahanama College for the rejection of the Petitioners’ application for that school. Thus, it is clear that Mahanama College would not have admitted the 2nd Petitioner to Grade 1 of that school under any circumstance due to the sole reason that the Petitioners are not Buddhists. Therefore, it is clear that the deduction of four marks from the marks of the Petitioners for the presence of Mahanama College in closer proximity to the Petitioners’ residence than Royal College is unlawful. This is because Mahanama College cannot be considered in terms of clause 7.2.4 of the circular, as a school falling under the category of schools specified in that clause for the purpose of deducting such marks.
It was the position of the learned counsel for the Petitioners that he is able to advance several arguments to show that there are several instances where School authorities have unlawfully deprived the Petitioners marks which should have been otherwise lawfully awarded to them. However, in view of the fact that it is less than two more marks which the Petitioners need, to secure the admission of the 2nd Petitioner to Royal College, the learned counsel for the Petitioners informed Court at the very commencement of the argument, that he would be content if the Court upholds his argument that the school authorities should not have deducted four marks in respect of Mahanama College on the basis that Mahanama College is situated in closer proximity to the residence of the Petitioners than Royal College and held that Mahanama College is a school falling under the category of schools specified in clause 7.2.4 of the circular for the purpose of the application of the Petitioners.
As the deduction of four marks from the marks of the Petitioners for the presence of Mahanama College in closer proximity to the Petitioners’ residence than Royal College is unlawful, the total of the marks scored by the Petitioners in respect of their application should have been 59.2 marks. This is well above the cut-off mark of 57.15 marks. This means that the school authorities are obliged to admit the 2nd Petitioner to Royal College Colombo 07.
Although the Petitioners have advanced strong arguments to establish that they are in fact residing in the address No. 562/16 and that the premises bearing No. 562/16 and the premises referred to as 562/16 B are one and the same and that the Petitioners have used both numbers inter-changeably, it would be unnecessary for this Court to make any pronouncement in that regard as this Court is able to grant the relief prayed for by the Petitioners in the instant application only upon the above conclusion.
This Court on 30-05-2019 having heard the submissions of the learned counsel for the Petitioners and the submissions of the learned Senior State Counsel who appeared for the Respondents, had decided to grant leave to proceed in respect of the alleged violations of Article 12(1) of the Constitution. Article 12(1) of the Constitution reads as follows;
“All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law”.
The above facts demonstrate that the school authorities have failed to apply the law in its correct perspective in respect of the application of the 1st Petitioner seeking to admit his son (the 2nd Petitioner) to Royal College Colombo 07. The respondent school authorities are obliged to adopt the same method, the same marking system and the same yardsticks set out in the circular marked P 2, to evaluate the application of the Petitioners also when they select students to the classes of that school in Grade 1.
In these circumstances and for the foregoing reasons, this Court holds that the Petitioners’ fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 12(1) of the Constitution have been infringed. Therefore, the Petitioners are entitled to the declaration they have prayed from this Court.
Hence, this Court decides to;
I. declare that the failure of the 1st to 10th Respondents to admit the 2nd Petitioner to Grade 1 of Royal College Colombo 07 has infringed the fundamental rights of the Petitioners guaranteed under Article 12(1) of the Constitution;
II. direct the 1st to 10th Respondents to admit the 2nd Petitioner to Grade 1 of Royal College Colombo 07 on the basis that they have scored more marks than the cut-off mark as pointed out above.
In all the circumstances of this case, this Court decides to award neither compensation no costs.
JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT
Buwaneka Aluwihare PC J
JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT
E. A. G. R. Amarasekara J
JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT