Chennai: The Madras High Court served notice to the district collector Salem and tahsildar for delay in issuing community certificate to a Dalit student who converted to Buddhism.
Based on the writ petition of K. Thenmozhi, 19, of Subramaniya Nagar, Salem, a MBBS course aspirant, a bench comprising Justices K. Suguna and M. Duraiswamy also served notice to secretary, selection committee, DME, Kilpauk.
Counsels for the petitioner S. Sathiya Chandran, R. Gobika and A. Raja Mohamed contended that Thenmozhi was attracted to the ideals of Dr Ambedkar and embraced Buddhism at the age of 16. Since then, she was practicing Buddhism and the conversion was notified in Tamil Nadu Government Gazette on January 2, 2013. The counsels stated that “Dalits converting to Buddhism are eligible for reservation as per Scheduled Caste Amendment Act, 1990”.
The petitioner had secured 949 marks in higher secondary examination. When Thenmozhi wished to submit an application form for MBBS course for this academic year, she approached tahsildar, Salem taluk, seeking SC certificate on April 17. The revenue officials did not issue the certificate. Her father M. Krishnan informed district collector about the inordinate delay and contacted tahsildar on several occasions. Meanwhile, Thenmozhi submitted the application form without attaching the certificate.
“The delay affects the prospect of Thenmozhi joining MBBS course”, the counsels stated. The counseling for MBBS/ BDS courses will commence on June 18. Based on a request secretary, selection committee, DME, Kilpauk issued a random number to the applicant. However, she wished to obtain the certificate from tahsildar and prayed for a suitable direction from Madras High Court.