AP HC strikes down Muslim quota
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday quashed the 4.5 per cent sub-quota to minorities carved out of 27 per cent reservations meant for OBCs (Other Backward Classes).
A division bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Sanjay Kumar, set aside the Office Memorandum (OM) issued by the Centre in December last year to provide sub-quota to minorities in central educational institutions and jobs.
The court, which was dealing with the petitions of BC Welfare Association and others, said the OM violates Article 15 (1) and 16 (2) of the Constitution of India, which prohibit discrimination based on religion.
The bench, which had heard the arguments and reserved its judgment last month, felt the sub-quota was created only on religious grounds and the government did not justify classification of religious minorities as a homogeneous group or as more backward classes deserving some special treatment.
The court held that Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) do not form a homogeneous group but a heterogeneous group.
Shortly after the verdict was pronounced, the Congress treaded cautiously, saying the court judgement has to be read and understood. “You cannot react to court judgments until you have perused, read, understood and appreciated..(We can comment)....after we receive copy of the judgment,” party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters in Delhi.
The court order may affect admissions already made in central educational institutions such as IITs.