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Refusing to grant relief to over 800 students seeking 25 grace marks in their SSC exams under sports quota, the Bombay High Court today said it was too late to accept their plea and it would affect other students also.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N M Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by Maharashtra Karate Association challenging the decision taken by the state government to not give 25 grace marks to the 853 SSC students who participated in the State Karate Championship tournament last November.

The government had refused to give additional marks as the petitioner association was not registered with the National Karate Association

You (petitioner) were informed in March 2011 that there were certain shortcomings due to non-registration with the national association. The tournament was held in November last. Why the delay in approaching court,” Chief Justice Shah asked.

The bench further observed that giving away 25 marks to 853 students at this stage would affect the other students. “It is difficult. Not possible to grant you any relief now. You (petitioner) should have made efforts to get the association registered,” the court said.

The court was also informed by the state government that it would be scrapping the policy of granting additional marks under sports quota from next year.

“There have been instances of the policy being misused by schools who seek the grace marks just for participation in a sports tournament. From next year, only five marks will be given to those students who win in a sports tournament,” the government pleader said.

While dismissing the petition, the court said the students were free to approach the Director of Sports department. The court has directed the sports department to decide on the students’ representation expeditiously.

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