CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the state government to explore the possibility of extending the scope of reservation in higher education and public employment for persons from the forward community based on their economic status.
The court made the observation on a plea moved by 14 students from the forward community (FC).
The petition sought a direction to declare transfer of MBBS seats in government medical colleges meant for open category to BC and MBC categories as illegal, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
When the plea came up yesterday, Justice Kirubakaran said: "The poor, in the so-called forward communities, have been neglected, so far and no one could speak about them fearing protest voices in the name of social justice." Social justice should be extended to every section of the society, the judge said.
"The necessity of having reservation for economic and social empowerment of those sections of the society, (BC, MBC, SC & ST) which have been hitherto neglected and oppressed is a must," justice Kirubakaran said.
At the same time, the judge said, talking about reservation or extending help to the deserving poor in forward communities should not be viewed or considered an opposition to the reservation enjoyed by other sections of the society.
"Further, this court is aware that in all the communities, there are poor people and they should be encouraged to develop educationally, economically and socially," the judge said.
The court directed the state government to provide details as to how many communities remain as FC in the state, how many falls under Backward Class (BC), Most Backward Class (MBC), Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC&ST).
It also wanted the government to verify whether reservation benefits have reached the said communities from 1950 onwards.
The court directed the government to inform as to whether it is possible to make reservation for the people belonging to the FC based on their economic status.
Referring to fake community certificates for the purpose of getting reservation benefits, the court wanted to know what steps government was taking to prevent issue of such certificates.