Kerala HC judge kicks off a new row over reservation

Justice V Chitambaresh

A Kerala High Court judge's remarks about reservation has triggered a row with many, including a Kerala Minister, strongly crticising him for his open remarks against caste and community based reservation.

Justice V Chitambaresh, while inaugurating a Tamil Brahmin's Global Meet in Kochi last week, said that there should be deliberation whether reservation should be on the basis of community and caste alone. While reiterating that he was not expressing his personal views, Justice Chitambaresh went on to say that Brahmins should always be at the helm of affairs.

"It is time for you to deliberate as to whether reservation should be on the basis of community and caste alone. I am not expressing any opinion at all. But I am only kindling your interest or reminding you that there is a platform for you to agitate or voice your concerns about economic reservation alone and not caste or communal reservation," said the High Court judge.

He also added that even as there was ten-percent economic reservation a son of a Brahmin cook even if he falls within the non-creamy layer zone would not get any reservation whereas a son of a timber merchant, who belongs to other backward communities, will get reservation if he is within the non-creamy layer zone, he said.

Strongly flaying Justice Chitambaresh's statements, Dalit rights activist in Kerala Sunny Kappikadu asks, "What will be the outcome of a reservation case that comes up before any  judges with such a view?" Sunny told DH that any person holding a constitutional post making such a statement was against democracy. Such tendencies should be plugged.

Kerala SC ST Welfare Minister A K Balan said that a High Court judge should not have made such a statement against communal and caste based reservations.

The social media has been flooded with comments against the High Court judge, while there were few supporting his view as well.

Apart from his remarks about reservation, Justice Chitambaresh's statement that Brahmins were having all good qualities and should be at the helm of affairs also invited strong crticisms.

Some rights activists were also reportedly exploring the scope of moving legally against the High Court judge for his statements.

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