Kerala HC imposes Rs 25K penalty on Hindu organisation for challenging quota for minorities
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the Hindu Sevakendram, Ernakulam North, while dismissing a petition seeking to declare that Muslims, Latin Catholics, Christian Nadars and Scheduled Castes converted to any denomination in Christianity are not entitled to be treated as backward classes. The court directed the Sevakendram to deposit the amount in the bank account created for providing financial aid to children in the state suffering from rare diseases within one month. In the event of default, proceedings under the Kerala Revenue Recovery Act, 1968, would be initiated, held the court.
The court issued the order on the petition filed by Sreekumar Mankuzhy, Treasurer, Hindu Sevakendram, Kochi. The petitioner pointed out that Muslims and certain sections of Christians are provided with reservation in education, as well as in jobs, in the state, treating them as socially and educationally backward, though the majority of them are not socially or educationally backward. Socially and educationally backward Hindus suffered in Kerala, they alleged.
Citing a gazette notification issued on September 10.1993, Advocate General K Gopalakrishna Kurup submitted that some of the communities have been identified as backward classes and state-wise socially and educationally backward classes, and accordingly, reservation as per the orders of the central and state governments is provided. As per the notification, Mappila and Latin Catholics have already been identified as socially and educationally backward communities, for which reservation is provided. The AG added that that the President of India is the authority to specify socially and educationally backward classes.
The court also noted that as per the National Commission for Minorities Act, the central government has recognised six religious communities -- Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains as minority communities. Thus, in the light of Constitutional and statutory provisions, it is clear that certain communities have been recognised and treated as minorities, SC/STs, backward and other backward communities, and accordingly, reservation is provided by the state and central governments.
"We are unable to comprehend how the petitioner has sought a declaration that Muslims, Latin Catholics, Christian Nadars and Scheduled Castes, converted to any denomination in Christianity, are not entitled to be treated as backward classes," observed the Division Bench. The court also rejected the plea to stop all the financial aid given to those communities for educational and other social welfare activities based on the Sachar Committee and Paloli Committee reports.