Supreme Court, Manipur, positive suggestions, Centre
"The reliefs which have been sought under Article 32 can well be pursued in appropriate proceedings before the high court under Article 226," the bench said. (Representational image)

Karnataka's decision to scrap 4% Muslim quota flawed, says SC

The Karnataka government’s decision to scrap 4 per cent Muslim quota and raise the quotas in government jobs and educational institutions for Vokkaligas and Lingayats by two per cent each is prima facie on “highly shaky ground” and “flawed”, observed the Supreme Court on Thursday (April 13).

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna said from the records tabled before the court it appears that the Karnataka government’s decision is based on an “absolutely fallacious assumption”.

Senor advocates Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave and Gopal Sankarnarayanan, appearing for members of the Muslim community from Karnataka said no study was conducted and there was no empirical data available with the government to scrap the quota for Muslims.

Also read: Karnataka polls: BJP ends Panchamasali stir with quota hike, but issue isn’t over yet

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Karnataka, sought some time to file replies to the petitions and assured the bench that no appointments and admissions will be made, in the meantime, based on the March 24 government order which has been challenged by the petitioners.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for members of the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, said no interim order should be passed without allowing them to place their response to the petitions. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on April 18 and asked Mehta and Rohatgi to file their responses.

The Basavaraj Bommai government in Karnataka decided to scrap the four per cent reservation for Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions weeks ahead of the state assembly polls on May 10.

Also read: Karnataka: Muslim leaders to move court against abolition of 4% quota

The state government announced two new categories for reservation and divided the four per cent Muslim quota between the Vokkaligas and Lingayats, the two numerically dominant and politically influential communities. Muslims eligible for quotas were categorised under the economically weaker sections.

The state government’s decision has pushed the reservation limit to around 57 per cent now.

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