The Kerala High Court ruled that ‘subclassification’ of Muslims as members of the minority group and disproportionate scholarship offerings to them are not permissible. The Court’s ruling is a huge blow for Kerala’s government, which had anticipated to grant 80:20 scholarships to Muslims and Latin Catholics/converted Christians.
The court’s division bench, led by Chief Justice Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, ordered the authorities to devise a strategy that will benefit youngsters from both groups fairly. The judge determined that the welfare board’s decree was not enforceable by law and instructed it to think of a new methodology that would benefit both communities. The High Court went on to condemn the Kerala government, noting that Executive Orders set by the state government cannot contradict Article 29 and the provisions of the Minority Commission Acts of 1992 and 2014.
Justine Pallivathukal had previously filed a suit in the Kerala High Court, asking for the directive of the Kerala government to be overturned. “Under the premise of encouraging minority communities, the State of Kerala is demonstrating prejudice towards the Muslim community at the expense of other minority populations. Except for Latin Catholics and converted Christians, no benefits are granted to the remainder of the Christian community, resulting in complete inequality,” the petition stated.