SC allows ‘Poor Muslim’ quota

March 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm 8 comments

With all due respect to the three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court one gets the impression that the Bench is also playing to the gallery by allowing ‘poor Muslim’ quota while staying the High Court order against the Andhra Pradesh government’s 4 % quota for the Muslims. The Bench decided to refer the question of constitutional validity of the Act to a Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court. The Bench was on the right track but then why had it given the go ahead to the AP government and not defer till the Full Bench decided on the validity of the Act. In doing this the Bench did seem to have some doubt on the constitutional validity-even otherwise what was the hurry before the second week of August to give the go ahead to the AP government?
In trying to make a case against the order Attorney General G.E.Vahanvathi declared that the State legislature did not intend the Act to be ‘religion specific’ but aimed at social uplift of the social groups identified as backward. If this is not semantics jugglery then what is it? Nobody questions the need of social upliftment of the socially backward groups. It is already a law based on affirmative action that the SCs BCs and Most backward groups are given the quota for this great upliftment process. Then how can poor Muslims be outside the above mentioned socially backward groups. It is crystal clear that this is religion specified quota, and is a violation of the Constitution. What is the meaning of ‘poor Muslim’ quota of 4%.If it meant for the poor then why that affixture of Muslim-a religious identity? The Judiciary cannot become a partner to the political appeasement policy and must interpret the law according to the spirit of the Constitution. It is a travesty that such a request must come from lay persons and be addressed to the Judiciary which is the repository of the Constitution and its operation.
The Judiciary is also aware of the appeasement policy and its nuances. It is not functioning in isolation nor is it in an ivory tower. It must be above politics and biases-in the real sense of the term. So to stay the order of the High Court of AP and allow a go ahead to the quota for the ‘poor Muslims is flawed-based on a religious criterion. There are poor Christians, poor Jains, poor Hindus, poor Parsees, poor Buddhists et al. So why not extend the same social upliftment quota to all these categories and scrap the SCs and BCs and OBCs –caste tags. One cannot go by caste tags and also by religious tags. Poverty and backwardness being the common denominator then use only economic criterion in netting in poverty groups. Where does all this lead to? It will be the saddest day for this country if the judiciary is seen as political and biased.
When the quota for the Poor Muslims question goes to the full Bench of the SC what happens to the go ahead signal given by the three- judge Bench of the SC? What was the urgency that three judge Bench SC found before the second week of August to give the go ahead nod to the AP’s Act? Now if the full Bench struck it off as unconstitutional should we say that the three-judge Bench indulged in some thing that was unconstitutional? What happens to those ‘poor Muslims’ who already got into educational and other services on this quota? Will that be nullified? Or will they be allowed to continue in that quota category? It seems that the SC is tying itself in knots.
Let the AG not take the people for a ride and ask us to read poor Muslims as only poor people-then why the identification of the 14 groups of Muslims? In fact the whole Muslim community sects and sub sects have been identified. Is this identification exercise pertaining to the poor or to the Muslims who are poor? That’s the catch. One need not be a legal expert to understand the meaning-the intent and the motive of the quota for the Muslims. It is simply an extension of the appeasement policy of the governments both at the Centre and the States. But Justice denied and buried will resurrect. It is at the cost of other poor people that this is being done for the development ‘cake’ is only one. You cannot rob poor Peter to pay poor Paul. Injustice upon injustice and that too flowing from the judiciary cannot take the country forward nor will the poverty and backwardness of the poor people disappear. Is it not obvious that the quota system has increased backwardness? Ever since the quota system came into the picture as a strategy of upliftment more and more people have become backward. It seems that quota is abetting backwardness in this country. The only persons to gain are the politicians who thrive on using this as a mirage for development. But it is the judiciary to which the people turn for justice. Truth and Justice cannot be butchered by the Judiciary. It is accountable to ‘We the people’.
PS.In this context it becomes relevant to stop the post retirement assignments for the Judges
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja


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Third Opinion Congress at it again-Modi bashing

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rakesh  |  March 27, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I will start with yr last line.
    Why must we treat judges as “know all” and “semi divine”. They too are like anybody else and therefore some kind of check is required on them too. Sadly those who are supposed to keep a check on them are quite often a party or beneficiaries of their acts.
    After all what is a point in a commission for babri demolition being headed by a man from judiciary or for that matter a pay commission. In both the cases the result was the mess. The reason demands that the first one needed a crime expert whereas the second one needed someone like a finance expert.
    Above all why the retd. judges do never say that they are not competent for the job being offered to them? They are always willing to do any thing. The bizarre thing is that quite often they conclude exactly what was to be concluded. See the colors of rangnath.
    Yes no retired judge or for that matter anyone who has been paid by the exchequer should ever take any employment where govt. is directly or indirectly involved. Do some social service MERE BHAI or atleast share your views like hilda mata. Its quite refreshing.

    • 2. Dr Mrs Hilda Raja  |  March 29, 2010 at 5:50 am

      Rakesh but who is to check the judges.What you state is true and hence correct-they are not divine and need not be all knowledgable.Given the kind of judges (who are political appointees)-still what they say state and judge become the law,become the rule and people have to abide by it.Hence they should not indugle in thinking that they know everything.Why had they in Kusbhoo’s case refered to Krishna and Radha-thereby commiting a historic blunder.They should just leave such things and state what they think-not substantiate their pronouncements from ancient literature if they are not thorough with it.A lower court judgement is considered wrong by a Higher court and a High Court judgement is either stayed or negated by a 3-judge bench of the SC and a full bench SC can make the 3-judge bench’s judgment null and void.Which shows that judges among themseves hold differing and in fact entirely oppositive perceptions.Where do people then go.Can everyone go to the Full Bench of the SC? My problem is whereis this justice reposing?There should be an obudsman-an apex body may be.This would mean a long route and given the way things are moving at snails pace those who are awaiting judgement may die.The US has a better justice process-it is not only quick but depends on the Jury and not on the Judge to give the verdict.So it will be people against people-people judging people.I find it better.With the corruption rampant in the judiciary people are becoming cynical of the judical process in our country.When thousands of cases were pending what was the great hurry to take up Kushboo’s case.Is that of imminent importance?Continue being alert and go interact-thats the best way to grow and push forward-does not matter is views differ-after all in one hand the fingers are not the same size so very different-but it co-oridinates and makes the hand so functional and effective!HR

  • 3. rakesh  |  March 27, 2010 at 6:01 am

    By the way, reservation of any kind is basically robbery. The beneficiaries of reservation are basically robbers. Yes those too who get admissions in institutions due to fat pockets of their parents come under the same category. And the brahmins too who are not allowing others as link… That was reservation too and equally bad.

    • 4. Dr Mrs Hilda Raja  |  March 29, 2010 at 6:01 am

      It is not just reservation-which was envisaged by the Founding Fathers as affirmative action and with a stipulated period of 50 years.But now reservatyion has become a tool for vote garnering-all the population have come under bakwardness-there are today more backward castes.It was primarily based on caste but if today it is used for gender and religion to net the reserved candidates then it a violation of the constitution-where does Equality’ stand?One cannot discrimate anyone on the basis of gender and religion.The Attorney General wants us to view the quota for Muslims as backwardness specific and not religion specific-then why was the word ‘Poor’ Muslim used?All reservation must automatically net in the poor-if it does not then it is flawed-one more flawed strategy added will not rectify the other flaws.It is only going to help the rich and the powerfulthe creamy layer.Three generations of doctors,engineers and IAS in the same family using the reservation quota..I am aware of .Even P.Chidambaram used his caste tag to get into reservation quota.The former late President NARAYANAN’s daughter used her caste tag to get into the airforce.So this makes the rich richer
      Whatever may be the outcome my contention is that religion cannot be used as an identifying factor-why only Poor muslims-are there no poor christian ,poorJains poor Parsees etc.?

      • 5. Sita  |  March 29, 2010 at 11:50 am

        Ma’am,could not be P.C. ;, as they are nagarathaars, therefore forward castes.Maybe I am wrong and they also come under backward.

      • 6. hildaraja  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:05 am

        yes PC comes under Backward category and hence there is reservation for BCs.

  • 7. vikramasimha  |  April 26, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I feel that this article, SC Allows Poor Muslim Quota, is severely flawed. I think this article ignores how the beneficiaries of quota are identified. The beneficiaries of our quota system are not individuals. The beneficiaries are not identified by objective and secular criteria. For example, our law-makers could have set objective criteria such as the beneficiary must be from a family whose annual income is less than Rs. 20,000, he must be from a family with no graduates at all and so on. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries in our quota system are not identified using such objective and secular criteria. The beneficiaries are not individuals, the beneficiaries are always groups, in other words, castes, sub-castes, sects and sub-sects. So far, they have been granting quotas to Hindu castes and sub-castes, which they identified as backward. Now, they identified castes and sub-castes (or sects and sub-sects) among Muslims. Tomorrow, they will identify among Christianity and other religions. The key point is beneficiaries are not objectively-identified individuals, but castes and sub-castes or sects and sub-sects. That is how they identified beneficiaries among Hindus earlier, now they are extending the same logic to Muslims. Tomorrow they WILL extend to other religions. So, this is not religion-specific. They are merely extending whatever logic they followed in the past for Hindus, they are extending now to other religions. That is what K. G. Balakrishnan meant when he said, “If Hindus have been enjoying quota benefits, why not Muslims?”. And why not others too? I am severely against reservations and that too caste-based (group-based or sect-based) reservations. But, that is not the point of debate now. If caste-based reservations are constitutionally OK for Hindus, why are they not OK for other religions? Please, Mrs. Raja, correct me if I am wrong. I eagerly look forward to your response. I love your articles. They are excellent, great eye-openers. Not enough words to appreciate them. Thank you very much for them.

  • 8. Govind  |  May 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    There is a fundamental flaw or perhaps even deliberate and malicious obfuscation in Balakrishnan’s reasoning. As Hilda-ji has pointed out this same reasoning can be extended to other religions as well. Why discriminate against them? Balakrishnan would definitely have had the sense to realize this. Why does Balakrishnan stop short at Muslims? Why, as you say, should Muslims be FIRST and everyone else follow later?? Clearly this is a discriminatory and divisive policy aimed solely at perpetuating the traitorous Congress’ policy of divide et impera. Such a law can only exacerbate the bitterness, acrimony and hostility that today exists between Hindus and those Hindus who have been converted to Islam. It’s effects can only be harmful and not beneficial to the state and the people of India.

    This is a huge blunder on a couple of other counts. As you have pointed out the quota-system itself is an extremely wasteful and destructive sledgehammer which in fact does more damage to an already ailing social system. Extending quotas cannot therefore be a solution to anything. These are not discreet issues, but one and the same thing which cannot be separated from each other.

    Finally, the caste-based quota was specifically instituted to correct the effects of an antiquated, ossified and thoroughly decayed Jati-Varna system that is specific to Hindus. For that very reason it cannot be extended to people who do not identify themselves as Hindus. Again, the wise policy would be to help the poor and needy and disadvantaged and downtrodden in any group via intelligent and well-thought out policy. Doling out quotas to more groups is nothing but an unscrupulous and insidious electoral ploy as Ms.Raja has pointed out. When it comes to playing religion-based communal politics it is much worse, since it is to set afire the very social fabric that one claims to repair with such measures.


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