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HC junks OBC job quota for Muslims.

THE Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday set aside a central government order providing 4.5 per cent reservation to minorities within the 27 per cent quota allotted for Other Backward Classes ( OBC) in the central educational institutions and jobs.

A division bench of Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Sanjay Kumar said the decision to provide quota within the OBC quota for minorities was based only on religious grounds.

The bench delivered the judgement after hearing on a petition filed by Andhra Pradesh Backward Classes Welfare Association president R. Krishnaiah.

The bench expressed anguish over the casual manner in which the entire issue had been taken up by the Centre.

" There is no evidence shown by the learned assistant solicitor general to justify the classification of these religious minorities as a homogeneous group or as more backward classes deserving some special treatment," the bench said.

The high court declared that Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians did not form a homogeneous group but a heterogeneous group.

According to K. Ramakrishna Reddy, senior counsel who argued for the petitioner, the HC judgement would affect the admissions that had already been made in central educational institutions such as IITs.

The bench said the first office memorandum of November 22, 2011, stated that the 4.5 per cent sub- quota was carved out of socially and educationally backward classes of citizens " belonging to minorities," as defined in Section 2( c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act.

The resolution of the commission and second OM created a sub- quota for minorities.

" The very use of the words -- belonging to minorities or for minorities -- indicates that the sub- quota has been carved out only on religious lines and not on any other intelligible basis," the judges observed.

The 4.5 per cent quota would not benefit the Muslims of Andhra. In a recent letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, state minister for minority welfare Mohammad Ahmedullah said the Muslim candidates of the state were deprived of the benefits for two reasons.

First, the 14 socially and educationally backward communities of Muslim minorities listed in the state list were not included in the central OBC list.

Secondly, the orders regarding provision of 4.5 per cent to minorities were not sent to chief secretary and collectors by the government of India.

" Due to these reasons minority candidates are not in a position to obtain required OBC certificate from the Revenue officer in order to benefit from the reservation," he said.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:May 29, 2012
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