Muslim quotas: Andhra court says no, Bengal Govt says yes
The West Bengal government on Monday reserved 10 per cent of government jobs in the state for poor Muslims, as a similar move by Andhra Pradesh was struck down by the high court for the third time.india Updated: Feb 09, 2010 01:21 IST
The West Bengal government on Monday reserved 10 per cent of government jobs in the state for poor Muslims, as a similar move by Andhra Pradesh was struck down by the high court for the third time.
In 2007, Andhra had propo-sed to set aside four per cent of government jobs and seats in educational institutions for socially and educationally Muslims. A constitution Bench struck down the move calling it “unconstitutional” and “unsustainable”.
The seven-member bench quashed the Andhra Pradesh Reservation in Favor of Socially and Educational Backward Classes of Muslims Act 2007 as well as the two government orders giving effect to the reservations to 15 backward classes among the Muslims in jobs and educational institutions.
This is the third time the High Court has rejected the Andhra government’s move. The government, however, said it will go to Supreme Court now.
West Bengal, however, is going by the 2007 report of the Ranganath Mishra commission to reserve jobs for only poor Muslims.
“Families earning more than Rs 4.5 lakh per annum will not be eligible,” said West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
This will not extend automatically to schools. A committee will soon be set up to, among other things, look into the possibility of reserving seats for Muslims in government and government-aided schools.
West Bengal is the first government in the country to announce reservation for minorities following the commission’s report.
The Centre is yet to table an action-taken report on the committee’s recommendations.
“We’ll implement the decision as soon as possible,” said the chief minister.