The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear the Centre’s application providing for a 4.5 per cent quota for Muslims within the Other Backward Classes quota in education and employment. The application, significantly, comes just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
A Bench comprising Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Vikaramajit Sen, however, was not satisfied with the manner in which the application was drafted, and asked Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran to file a proper petition to modify the earlier order refusing to stay the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashing quota for Muslims.
Mr. Parasaran submitted that in a similar case, the Supreme Court in March 2010 had permitted the Andhra Pradesh government to implement reservation for backward Muslims within the State till the matter was decided by a Constitution Bench.
To avoid ambiguity and inconsistency, particularly when a larger Bench had passed an interim order on the same issue and when the matter had been referred to a Constitution Bench, it was only logical that the benefit was extended for the coming year also as per the two office memorandum.
Senior counsel P.S. Narasimha, appearing for Krishnaiah, the petitioner in the High Court, opposed the Centre’s plea, saying it was politically motivated with an eye on the elections.
In 2011, the Centre announced a sub-quota of 4.5 per cent for socially and educationally backward people of minority communities.