In a huge setback to the government, the Andhra Pradesh high court Monday struck down its December 22 notification providing 4.5 % sub-quota to minorities in education and jobs within the 27% quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
The order may affect admissions in central institutions such as IITs, Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Minorities affairs minister Salman Khurshid, whose attempts to showcase the quota decision led to a controversy during the Uttar Pradesh polls, said the government would move the Supreme Court once it reopens after summer break in July."The next step would be to file a special leave petition," he said.
The sub-quota was provided on the basis of the backwardness and not on the basis of religion, and was meant for equitable distribution of benefits, the Centre told the HC.
The very use of the words "belonging to minorities" or "for minorities" indicated that the sub-quota was carved out only on religious lines, the court said.
"In fact, we must express our anguish at the rather casual manner in which the entire issue has been taken up by the central government," it said.