New Delhi: The Supreme Court observed on Thursday, April 13, that the Karnataka government’s decision to scrap the 4% Muslim quota ahead of the assembly polls is “flawed” and based on “absolutely fallacious assumption”.
A bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and B.V. Nagarathna said that no admissions or appointments will be made till April 18, the next date of hearing, on the basis of the impugned order, news agency PTI reported.
The Karnataka government assured the top court it will put on hold its March 27 order by which it had given quotas in admission to educational institutions and appointment in government jobs to Vokkaligas and Lingayats, till April 18.
In its order, the BJP government removed the 4% reservation that the Muslims had so far accessed and added the same equally between the state’s two powerful caste groups. This will take the Lingayat community’s quota to 5% and the Vokkaligas community’s quota to 7%.
The Muslims have been moved to the EWS (economically weaker sections) category which has a total of 10%; they have to share the same with a few groups like the Jains and Brahmins, The Wire reported.
Muslims were given the 4% reservation under 2B Backward Class category. They were made a part of this category in 1994. The government order removed the Muslim quota from the 2B category. However, Christians and Jains (Digamabaras) have remained classified under the 2D category, the Indian Express reported.
On March 24, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai had said, “There is no provision under the Constitution for reservation to religious minorities … It was struck down by the court in Andhra Pradesh. Even Dr B.R. Ambedkar had said that reservation was for castes.”
The government’s decisions came days before the Election Commission announced the schedule for assembly elections in the state. Karnataka will go to polls on May 10. Counting of votes will be held on May 13.