Madras High Court Maintains That Government Policy Is To Prioritize Own State’s Candidates and Sets Aside Nativity Certificate Rejection Order

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Varsha Totagi, a NEET aspirant filed a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. She had been denied Nativity Certificate without which she is unable to participate in the counselling rounds. The case was heard and decided upon by Hon’ble Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana. 

Facts of the Case

The petitioner was born in Chennai on 13.05.2002. She belongs to the Backward Class community and speaks Tamil as her mother tongue. She resided in Chennai till her second grade and moved to Dubai thereafter owing to her father’s job transfer. She came back to India after her 10th grade and continued her 11th & 12th grade here. 

The petitioner is an aspirant of medical education. A Nativity Certificate is one of the documents to be submitted along with the application for medical counselling. The petitioner had applied for the same, however, it was rejected because the petitioner had not spent the last five years preceding her 12th Grade in the State of Tamil Nadu. The petitioner, on the other hand, claims that the Nativity Certificate ought to be issued to her as she has all the relevant documents and maintained that the Tahsildar’s decision was unfounded. 

Arguments Before the Court

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner was born in Chennai. She attended her school till 2nd grade in Chennai. The marriage of the petitioner’s parents was also solemnized in Chennai, the certificate of which was also produced.

The counsel for the respondents- the District Collector & the Tahsildar, maintained that as per the rules, the petitioner cannot be issued a Nativity Certificate as she has not been living continuously for five years in the State of Tamil Nadu. 

Court’s Observations

The Court referred to G.O. Ms. No. 2388 dated 27.11.1990 issued by the Revenue Department, instructions and guidelines for issuance of Nativity Certificate has been prescribed. 

Clause (1) provides that the parent/guardian of the applicant students themselves should have resided continuously for five years in Tamil Nadu for obtaining Nativity Certificate.
In this case, the mother of the petitioner had been residing in Tamil Nadu. Birth Certificate, Aadhar card, School Certificate & Marriage Certificate were attached as proof of the same. 

Clause (2) provides that the applicant him/herself should have resided in the State continuously for 5 years. This criterion also has been completed as since her birth till her second grade, she had been residing in the State. 

Clause (3) provides for the certificate issuing officer to verify the family card, electoral roll or if the applicant or his parent own property, documents relating to such property such as sale deed, house tax receipts, etc. This criterion also has been fulfilled by the petitioner as the documents of the sale deed standing in the name of her mother and the property tax receipts were produced before the Court. 

Clause (4) states that the transfer certificate from the school in which the student last studied may be verified to know whether the applicant has studied in Educational Institutions in Tamil Nadu for the last five years continuously.  This criterion alone has been unfulfilled by the petitioner as she had been in Tamil Nadu for her 11th & 12th grade and does not qualify the five-year preceding period. 

The Court observed that the continuous education of five years preceding the application cannot be a ground for rejection as the petitioner had qualified all other criteria. The Nativity Certificate is mandatory for students who wish to apply from the State quota, the purpose of which is to give priority and promote the State students i.e., Tamil Nadu quota. 

The Court further referred to M.Goutham vs The Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu and Ors. Apropos paragraph of the judgment reads as follows:

“103. When the State Policy is on nativity, and not a place of residence, from the material on record, arguments have been advanced on the basis of the residence, and not nativity. Residence is not equivalent to nativity. A person may reside in one State, but he is not native of that State. Residence and nativity are not convertible terms.”

The Court noted that merely because a person is absent from the State on account of employment, etc. he/she will not lose his/her permanent residence in the State and that is not the intention or the policy of the Government.

 

Court’s Decision

The Court set aside the order of the Tahsildar rejecting the application of the petitioner for the Nativity Certificate. The Court further directed the Tahsildar to issue a Nativity Certificate to the petitioner in order to enable her to apply for medical counselling. 

The Writ Petition was thus, disposed of. 

Read the original judgment here. 


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