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The Madras high court bench in Madurai has ruled that educational loans being provided by the banks are meant only for poor and meritorious students who can not not pursue their studies due to poverty.

Dismissing a writ petition, filed by Harish Babu of Aruppukottai on Thursday, Justice S Manikumar said students with means to pay the tuition fees and have obtained average marks in their qualifying examinations can not compel banks to provide loans.

“The object of the scheme will be defeated if banks are permitted to give loan for rich students. Poor and meritorious students will be denied chance of getting financial assistance for pursuing their course,” the judge said in his order.

Parents of the petitioner who scored 70 per cent marks in his exams earned Rs 30,000 a month and were in a position to pay the fees, the judge said.

“As long as the bank managers take a fair and reasoned judgement on providing loans, this court could not interfere. The Reserve bank circular also clearly sets out the goals of the educational loans”, he said.

The judge in his order also referred to former finance minister P Chidambaram’s communication to the chief executives of banks, highlighting the role of commercial banks in facilitating the pursuit of higher education by poor and meritorious students.

“The laudable object set out in the scheme is the development of human capital and it should be the endeavour of all that no deserving student is denied of an opportunity to pursue higher education for want of financial support”, he said.

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