New Delhi, Aug 12: Kerala government's decision to extend 10 per cent reservation for economically backward class students of the forward community has come under the scanner of the Supreme Court which today agreed to examine the issue. The apex court, however, after a brief hearing, adjourned the matter after one of the judges Justice H L Dattu, in the the bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi, recused from the case.
The Kerala High Court had earlier dismissed the petition filed by the Kerala Muslim Jamaath Council, Christian Service Society and another organisation challenging the quota and at that time Justice Dattu was its Chief Justice. The aggrieved organisations have moved a SLP against the high court's judgement.
Justice Singhvi asked the Jaamath its locus standi in the matter. “How are you aggrieved by the benefit? the judge said.. Counsel E M S Anam, appearing for the Jammath, defended the organisation saying it was aggrieved as the benefit has been extended only to economically backward classes from among the forward castes, excluding other communities.
According to the petitioners, the reservation benefit granted to the economically backward was constitutionally invalid as quota can be provided only for the socially disadvantaged class as provided under Article 15(4) of the Constitution.
Moreover, it was submitted that even if reservation is provided to economically backward sections, the benefit should be uniformly extended to BPL families of all communities. The erstwhile Left Front Government of V S Achuthanandan had introduced the reservation benefit in 2008.
Interestingly, the Kerala government now headed by Congress is defending the decision of the previous dispensation. Counsel Ramesh Babu appeared for the State. PTI