PIL against govt’s quota for Muslims in West Bengal

Posted on November 27, 2010


The reservations for Muslim OBCs, announced by the West Bengal government, has come under the scanner of the Calcutta High Court.

A public interest litigation was moved in the Calcutta High Court today challenging the notifications issued on September 24 by the state government for the reservation of the Muslim OBCs.

Nilmadhab Karmakar, president of the Confederation of Other Backward Classes, a social organisation, filed a PIL last month seeking an order to strike down the notification of September 24. Hearing the petition today, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Jaynarayan Patel and Justice Ashim Roy directed the state government to file an affidavit within four weeks. Counsel of Karmakar advocate K C Kapash pointed out that the state government had declared reservation for the OBC under two categories — A and B. In category A, there are 56 castes, of which 54 belongs to Muslim OBCs. According to the notification 10 per cent posts in government service, local and statutory authorities and educational institutions would be reserved for those castes prescribed in category A. And seven per cent posts in government service would be reserved for those under category B. According to category B, several castes belonging to both Hindus and Muslims would get the benefit of reservation.

Kapas, however, said that the government could not declare any caste as OBC on the basis of the religion. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had announced that overall 86 per cent of the Muslim population would be covered under the reservation policy of the state.

The petitioner also alleged that the state government did not implement the recommendation of the Mandal Commission on reservation for the OBCs.

The state government should have implemented the recommendations of the Mandal Commission, as per the Supreme Court order. The commission had recommended reservation of 27 per cent in jobs and education for the OBCs. While the state government did not implement the recommendations of the Mandal commission, it declared reservation for Muslims — only for political motivation, said Kapash.