A Division Bench of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on Monday struck down the office memorandum issued by the Central government creating a sub-quota for religious minorities from the existing 27 per cent reservation for the backward classes (OBC).

It may be recalled that just prior to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Central government issued two separate orders declaring that the religious minorities would be given 4.5 per cent sub-quota from among the 27 per cent reservation existing for OBCs. This has been challenged by the Andhra Pradesh BC Welfare Association president R. Krishnaiah and others.

The Bench, comprising Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar, declared that this action of the Central government was based upon religious lines and not on any other intelligible consideration. There was no rationale or empirical data to justify such an action, the Bench opined.

The Bench expressed deep anguish at the casual manner in which the issue was dealt by the Central government and said that it had exceeded Constitutional boundaries.