The Supreme Court of India on Thursday permitted Andhra Pradesh state government to provide 4% reservation in jobs and education for backward members of the Muslim community, but referred to a special bench the issue of its constitutional validity.
Lifting the stay on the State government’s decision, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices J.M. Panchal and B.S. Chauhan said, “since it involves important questions of Constitution, we are referring the matter to a Constitution bench” for hearing in the second week of August.
As many as 14 Muslim groups, identified as socially and educationally backward sections by the State Backward Commission, will now be eligible for the benefit.
“The government is of the view that certain sections of the Muslim community are socially and educationally backward. What is wrong in it? It is only a question as to how you identify them. It is not a question as to whether they are Hindus or Muslims but the question is social and educational backwardness. Merely because they are Muslims they cannot be denied,” the Bench observed while passing the order.