IUML accuses Kerala govt of misleading HC over minority welfare schemes

IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty
IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty. File photo: Onmanroama

Malappuram: The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) on Saturday accused Kerala's LDF government of misinforming the High Court resulting in its order nullifying the prevailing 80:20 proportion in the minority welfare schemes.

The schemes were being implemented in the State for the past many years.

The Kerala High Court on Friday quashed State Government Orders, sub-classifying the minorities by providing merit-cum-means scholarship at 80 per cent to Muslim community and 20 per cent to Latin Catholic Christians and Converted Christians, saying it cannot be legally sustained.

Reacting to the High Court verdict, the IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty, MLA, and E T Muhammed Basheer, MP, alleged that the verdict was a fallout of a lapse on the part of the LDF government.

The Muslim League would appeal against the court order, the leaders said.

The Muslim League is a key partner of the Congress-led UDF in the State.

Quashing the state Government Orders, the court has directed the government to pass requisite and appropriate orders, providing merit-cum-means scholarship to members of the notified minority communities within the State equally and in accordance with the latest population census available with the State Minority Commission.

Kunhalikutty said the Sachar Commission, which studied the backwardness of the Muslims, had observed that the social status of the Muslim community is below that of the scheduled caste communities.

The welfare schemes were introduced exclusively for the Muslims based on the Sachar Commission report, he said.

But the the LDF government, headed by V S Achuthanandan in 2011, included the Christians also to benefit from the welfare schemes and introduced 80:20 for Muslims and Christians respectively, the Muslim League leaders said.

Kerala Congress headed by P J Joseph, another partner in the UDF, welcomed the judgement and urged the government to implement it.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC), a body of the Catholic Bishops in Kerala, welcomed the High Court order.

KCBC deputy general secretary Fr Jacob Palackappilly said the church doesn't think that the order is against any community.

He said the court has studied, observed and passed the verdict very judiciously.

Incidentally it was Mizoram Governor and former state BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai who last year for the first time had gone on record to say that Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, had shared his concerns that 80 per cent of the funds for the minority community are going to 'one' particular community and the Christian community is getting just 20 per cent.

In Kerala, of the 3.34 crore population, the Muslim community accounts for 88.73 lakh, while the Christian population stands at 61.41 lakh.

However if the apportionment is going to cover all the Christians, then the new ratio will see the Muslims getting 60 per cent and Christians 40 per cent. But if it is going to be applicable in the present form to only the Latin and converted Christians, then the present 80:20 ratio will continue.

Meanwhile, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has decided not to do anything in haste and it has asked the Law department to study the new order in detail and with the Assembly now in session, the first signs of a renewed tussle between the ruling Left and the Congress led UDF on this can be expected, starting from Monday.

However the Kerala unit of the BJP has welcomed the new order and its senior leader George Kurian said this was what the BJP has always been batting for, that the apportionment should be based on the population.

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