It is a historic HC judgment, which it is said may have far reaching effect. It has said what backward Muslims are demanding. Muslims are saying that reservation is caste based not religion based, so when Hindu BCs are being given the reservations and quotas , Muslim BCs can’t be denied .
It was also demanded that the quota and reservation to a BC Hindu can not be revoked on his conversion to Islam. The Madras HC judgment vindicates BC Muslims’ demand. It has been widely reported in the press, as follows :
According to Times of India report, the Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu Government to instruct its officials to issue backward class (BC) community certificates to people who embrace Islam, categorically saying that a BC member would get all the benefits meant for BCs even after conversion to Islam.
Justice Hariparanthaman trashed two government communications sent in February 2010 and August 2012 asking collectors not to issue BC certificates to converted Muslims.
Describing it as persecution of Muslim brothers and akin to ‘untouchability’, practised on dalits, the judge said, “Denial of BC community certificate to converted Muslims amounts to deprivation of fundamental rights.”
The judge was passing orders on a petition filed by M U Aariffaa, who was a Nadar (a BC community) before her conversion to Islam in 2006. Though she cleared the TNPSC examination for village administrative officer (VAO) in 2012, she was not selected as she was treated as ‘others’.
Later in the same year, she was not appointed station officer in fire service department citing the same reason. On both occasions she moved the High Court and obtained an order directing the respective departments to keep one post vacant.
While accepting amicus curiae’s stance that there is no such a thing as ‘converted’ Muslim, the judge disagreed with his claim that unlike in the case of Christianity, a convert’s original caste status is erased on embracing Islam.
The judge also flayed the Tamil Nadu Backward Class Commission for its stand that no convert to Islam is entitled to get BC community certificate and that all such existing certificates are bogus.
“The view expressed by the commission has no basis and it has to be rejected, as it would result in the denial of community certificates to all converts to Islam,” the judge said.
Directing the government to appoint Aariffaa to either of the posts she had qualified immediately, the judge said she should be placed at the appropriate place to the post of Station Officer – Fire and Rescue Services, in the seniority list meant for BC Muslims.