Backward Quota: Madras High Court rejected claim of man who converted to Islam from Hinduism

Backward Quota: Madras High Court rejected claim of man who converted to Islam from Hinduism

On Thursday, Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madras High Court made the observation that a person who has changed to a different religion is not entitled to the advantages of his former community unless the State expressly permits it.

The High Court further stated that the Supreme Court would decide whether or not a person who has converted to a different religion is eligible for community reservation benefits. Therefore, it was not up to the High Court to make a decision.

Even after conversion, a person cannot retain his or her community of birth, as was seen in the S. Yasmine case. The Hon. Supreme Court is currently deliberating on whether or not to grant such a person the benefit of reservation even after conversion. It is not the responsibility of this Court to support the petitioner's claim once the Hon. Supreme Court has taken up the case.

As a result, the court decided not to intervene in the TNPSC's decision and declared it to be accurate.

The court stated that the Tamil Nadu government had stipulated in letters dated 2010, 2012, 2017, and 2019 that candidates who had converted to Islam from another religion would only be taken into consideration as"others category".

The court also considered other precedents, noting that the Madras High Court had stated in G. Michael v. S. Venkateswaran that when a member of any caste or sub-caste converts to Islam, he ceases to be a member of any caste. His status in Muslim society is unrelated to the caste he belonged to prior to converting. In K.P.Manu v. Scrutiny Committee, the Supreme Court upheld this judgement.

"The original caste remains under eclipse and as soon as the person is reconverted to the original religion, the eclipse disappears and the caste automatically revives", the High Court quoted from the Supreme Court precedent in KP Manu.

"This certificate declaring the petitioner's conversion only states that the petitioner has become a Muslim and nothing more. G.Michael judgment of the Madras High Court also states that when a Hindu gets converted to Islam, he becomes just a Mussalman and his place in Muslim society is not determined by the caste to which he belonged before his conversion. When the Kazi does not declare that the convertee is to be treated as belonging to the group of Labbais, I fail to understand as to how a revenue authority of a secular government can fix the converted individual in a particular slot or pigeon-hole", the Court observed.

The bench was hearing a candidate's appeal of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission's decision to classify him in the "General" category rather than the "Backward Class (Muslim)" during the Combined Civil Services Examination-II (Group-II Services).


Case Title: U Akbar Ali v The State of Tamil Nadu and another

Case No: WP (MD)No.1019 of 2022


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