The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the Karnataka government’s decision to scrap 4% quota for Muslims is prima facie based on fallacious assumption, reported Bar and Bench.
Last month, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka had decided to remove Muslims from the Other Backward Classes quota in its final Cabinet meeting before the Assembly elections on May 10. Stating that the reservation was not constitutionally tenable, the government divided the 4% quota equally among the two dominant communities of the state – Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva-Lingayats.
The order was challenged in a bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna by petitioner named L Ghulam Rasool, who said that the reservation benefits given to poor Muslims in the state have been taken away ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, reported The Hindu.
The plea said that the Muslim community in Karnataka has instead been transferred to the list of communities eligible to claim reservation in the Economically Weaker Section, or EWS, category. The reservation for the Muslim community was not on religious lines but on account of the community being socially and educationally backward, the plea argued, reported the newspaper.
The division bench questioned the grounds on which the state government made the decision.
“This government order is based on completely fallacious assumptions prima facie the order passed appears to suggest that the foundation of your decision making is shaky,” Justice Joseph remarked.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Karnataka government, then assured the court that that no appointments or admissions will be made according to the order till the next date of hearing on April 18, reported Bar and Bench.
The Supreme Court also issued notice to the Karnataka government, and the counsel of the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, who are represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi