PENDING Assembly elections of West Bengal, all political parties including CPM, INC, TMC etc. are busy appeasing the Muslim community in their own way. The ruling conglomerate of the State – CPM-led Left Front has outwitted other parties by offering extraordinary facilities of 10 per cent job reservation in government offices for the Muslims.
This has sparked off a strong State-wide reaction. They are of the opinion that after the judgment of the Apex Court prohibiting reservation on the basis religion in the case of Andhra Pradesh, the West Bengal government cannot take such decision. It is not only unethical, it is illegal.
One Joydeep Mukherjee has gone to the Supreme Court to lodge a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The apex court has accepted the case. The constitution bench of the apex court headed by the Chief Justice S H Kapadia has admitted this case and they have fixed up the hearing date after Deepavali.
In the meantime State government officials have said that they have not yet received any notice from the Supreme Court. But they have information that such a PIL has been admitted by the Supreme Court. They have said that as they are aware of the judgment given in AP case regarding reservation on religious basis, they have taken all precautions so they could not be caught on wrong foot. They have claimed that the notification circulated by the State government in this regard on 24-2-2010 is a testimony for it. The government has minutely followed the recommendations of Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission report on minority. The State government officials have further pointed out that the Supreme Court, after admitting the PIL, did not stay the notification circulated by the State government.
But Joydeep Mukherjee has demanded that the State government circular has specifically mentioned that out of 108 OBC (Other Backward Classes) groups the State government has chosen only 56 OBC groups for providing with the facility of 10 per cent job reservation, and these groups are essentially Muslims. Of course, mention of one or two other community is also there. But with this they could not hide their ill motive behind this circular.
Mukherjee further mentioned that the State government which has followed the recommendation of Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission Report, is not tenable here for the simple reason that the Commission’s report has only been submitted to the Parliament. But it has not yet been tabled in the Parliament for discussion let alone any decision taken on the matter. When the Central government has yet to take any decision on its implementation, how come that the State government could take any such decision?
Hence it is obvious that the ruling conglomerate of the State is all out to take advantage of the situation without caring the constitutionality of the matter. He is confident that the Supreme Court will not allow this unconstitutional step to be implemented.