The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to explain why students of School of Excellence in Law (SOEL) at Taramani, Chennai, were excluded from the list of Government law colleges whose graduates would be provided with a stipend of Rs.3,000 for first two years of their practice as lawyers.
Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha wanted to know whether the government was of the view that all those who study in SOEL were from affluent families and therefore they need not be given any stipend. The query was raised during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate M. Karpagam.
The petitioner’s counsel R. Prabhakaran told the court that the government had fixed the maximum annual family income to be Rs.2.5 lakh for availing the stipend. He said students of denotified communities with an annual income less than Rs.2 lakh were studying in SOEL and so it was unfair to exclude them from list of beneficiaries.