The High Court of Kerala on Monday issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation which seeks to revise the backward community list of Kerala and to increase the percentage of reservation of Muslim minority community.
The bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar directed the Kerala Government and Kerala State Backward Classes Commission to respond to the petition within four weeks.
The petition filed by a charitable trust 'Minority Indians Planning and Vigilance Commission Trust' refers to the Sachar Committee report to state that the representation of Muslim minority community in public employment is abysmally low. It has also referred to a study carried out by Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishath which showed that Muslim community, while accounting for 26.9% of the total population of the State, accounted for only 11.4% in government service.
"The Muslim Community which is the largest backward community in Kerala, on account of population, is facing serious social, economic and educational backwardness which makes their backwardness comparable to the backwardness of Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes. Hence the Muslim Community is entitled to get all the benefits provided to SC/ST and the Muslim community is also eligible for special recruitment as per Rule 17A of the KSSR,1958", states the petition filed through Advocates Harees Beeran and Nuriya O.A.
It is pointed out that Section 11 of the Kerala State Commission for Backward Classes Act 1993 mandates periodic revision of the list of backward communities with a view to exclude those classes who have ceased to be backward classes or for including in such lists new backward classes.
However no such revision has taken place till date, asserts the petition based on a reply to a query under the Right to Information Act.
The petitioners further referred to the report of Justice Narendran Commission, appointed by the State Government of Kerala in 2000 wherein it was observed that while the Ezhava Community have got its share, the Muslim Community and SC/ST community was lagging behind and there is "under-representation of more than 7890 posts as on 2000 itself."
Alleging that the actions of the respondents were depriving the communities of their fundamental rights under Article 16(4) read with Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution, the petitioners further alleged that they were in continued contravention of the directives issued in Indira Sawhney V. Union of India (1992 Suppl. (3) SCC 217).
Earlier, the petitioner had moved the Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court directed the petitioner to approach the High Court.
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