Andhra Pradesh High Court struck down 4.5% sub-quota for religious minorities

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In a landmark judgment, on 28th May, 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court set aside central government order providing OBC minorities a sub-quota of 4.5% in central educational institutions and public sector establishments on the grounds that it has been implemented based on religious grounds and not on the 'backwardness' of the intended beneficiaries. In December 2011, the Centre Government had issued two memos providing 4.5% reservation for OBC minorities within the 27% OBC quota in central education institutions and central government jobs.

 

The special bench comprising Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Sanjay Kumar disposed of the petition filed by R Krishaniah of AP State Backward Classes Association holding that the government order violates Articles 15(1) and 16(2) of the Constitution. The court also held that Articles 15(5) and 16(4) do not support the order of reservation as contended by the government. Court said that the reservations are purely meant for emancipation of backward classes and the Centre had failed to satisfactorily show that the intended beneficiaries were more backward than the rest of OBCs to warrant preferential treatment.

 

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

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