Non-religious people entitled to reservation, rules Kerala HC


The single bench was hearing a petition moved by a group of class 12 students who had declared themselves out of any religion to caste ambit.

The Kerala high court on Friday directed the state to frame a policy to issue certificates to people belonging to non-religious category to ensure that they can also avail reservation benefits available to the economically weaker sections.

Hearing a petition, Justice VG Arun observed that a government, which claims to be progressive, cannot deny non-religious persons benefits merely under the reason that they choose not to belong to any religion or caste. Many progressive people in the state refuse to fill columns under religion and caste in certificates these days, and their numbers are growing.

The single bench was hearing a petition moved by a group of class 12 students who had declared themselves out of any religion to caste ambit. They sought admission under the economically weaker sections (EWS) in colleges citing 103 amendment of the Constitution that ensures 10 percent reservation for EWS other than SC/ST, backward and other sections.

“The government has to formulate a policy/guideline for issuing certificates to person like petitioners who have declared themselves to be non-religious,” the court said while directing the government to take a decision at the earliest.

While the state contended that it can only go as per the recommendations of the forward community commission who declared their caste and community.

But the court held that in a secular country like India, people who make their choice to be non-religious must be appreciated and taken along.

Later, the court issued an interim order directing the government to issue non-religious certificates to petitioners so that they can also avail reservation if they fulfil other requirements. The plea will be taken up next month by the court.


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