Posts tagged ‘Judiciary and Justice’

SC allows ‘Poor Muslim’ quota

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

March 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm 8 comments


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