May 292012

New Delhi, May 29 (ANI): Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid defended the government’s stand on the minority quota issue with against of the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and saying that the government would file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

“The recruitment and the admissions that were granted on the basis of the ordinance/act that was passed in Andhra Pradesh High Court, which was struck down by five judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. That was struck down for reasons different from this particular matter. That was struck down on the grounds that you have included communities / castes without doing adequate homework included in the list of backwards,” he said.

Khurshid further said the assumption is the list of backwards can be added to or excluded from only on the recommendations of the Backward Classes Commission.

“We would obviously in the circumstances immediately as quickly as possible go to the Supreme Court by way of an SLP (Special Leave Petition) to appeal to the Supreme Court against the pronouncement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court,” he added.

Stating that judgement has raised a very interesting and important point, Khurshid said: “But you need to keep in mind that the Andhra Pradesh High Court when the Andhra Pradesh Government itself tried to provide sub-quotas for different categories of minority groups, many of which were Muslims. On three occasions, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has struck down that effort for various reasons. The last time that it struck down, it had a bench of five judges, and that matter is now pending before a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India.”

“Our understanding is and has been that the Backward Classes Commission mandate does not include giving any opinion or recommendation on what is the percentage that should be given to any community,” said Khurshid.

This is the fourth time that the Andhra Pradesh High Court has struck down minority sub-quota.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has struck down the 4.5 percent central sub-quota for minorities within the OBC quota, holding that reservations can’t be based purely on religious grounds.

“So, of the 27 percent reservation that are provided, the 4.5 percent reservation is given commensurate with the population of backward minorities. We have done this entirely on the basis of Mandal Commission and our understanding is that we have done this on the basis of the Indira Sahni case and the assumption that since the matter now stands before the constitutional bench,” he added.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi had earlier in the day said that the minority communities genuinely needed reservation.

“The Government of India has already given a statement to file an appeal in the Supreme Court. We have respect for the judgement of the court, but at the same time, minorities need such kind of reservation,” he said. (ANI)

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