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JUSTINE PALLIVATHUKKAL v. STATE OF KERALA, KERALA STATE COMMISSION FOR MINORITIES AND UNION OF INDIA - (High Court of Kerala) (28 May 2021)

State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth or any of them

MANU/KE/1312/2021

Constitution

The Union Government for safeguarding the Minorities had set up a National Commission for Minorities under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. On 9.3.2005, a notification was issued by the Central Government for the constitution of a High Level Committee to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India known as “the Prime Minister's High Level Committee”, chaired by Justice Rajindar Sachar. The Union Government under the Prime Minister's New 15 point programmes for the welfare of minorities announced scholarship schemes for minority students from minority communities.

State Government has formed a 11 member committee for submitting proposals necessary for implementing the recommendations of Justice Rajindar Sachar Commission report in Kerala, headed by Paloly Muhammed Kutty, the then Minister for Local Self Government. 1st respondent extended the benefit given in Exhibit P2 to Latin Catholics and other Converted Christians as per Exhibit P3 Government Order dated 22.2.2011 bearing G.O.(Rt.)No.57/2011/GAD. Exhibit P3 it is only stated that the benefits given to the Muslim students in regard to the scholarships and hostel stipend shall also be given to Latin Catholic Christians and Converted Christian students. State Government issued Exhibit P4 order bearing G.O.(Rt.)No.3427/2015/GAD dated 8.5.2015 that reservation among the Muslims and other minority communities will be in the ratio of 80:20 i.e., 80% to Muslim Community and 20% to Latin Christians and Converted Christians. It is further stated that 30% of the seats shall be reserved for girls. Therefore, it is contended that the fixation of ratio in Exhibit P4 is arbitrary, unjust and illegal and accordingly violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India.

The Court held that the State Government in sub-classifying the minorities by providing merit-cum-means scholarship at 80% to Muslim community and 20% to the Latin Catholic Christians and Converted Christians cannot be legally sustained. In that view of the matter, orders of the State Government quashed and the Kerala State Government has directed to pass requisite and appropriate Government orders providing merit-cum-means scholarship to the members of the notified minority communities within the State equally and in accordance with the latest population census available with the State Minority Commission. The petition is thus allowed.

Tags : STATE MINORITY COMMISSION   SUB-CLASSIFICATION OF MINORITIES  

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