New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Thursday the Karnataka government's decision raising quotas in government jobs and educational institutions for Vokkaligas and Lingayats by two per cent each while scrapping the four per cent reservation for OBC Muslims prima facie appeared to be on a "highly shaky ground" and "flawed".
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna said from the records tabled before the court it appears that the Karnataka government's decision is based on "absolutely fallacious assumption".
Senor advocates Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave and Gopal Sankarnarayanan, appearing for members of the Muslim community from Karnataka said no study was conducted and there was no empirical data available with the government to scrap the quota for Muslims.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Karnataka, sought some time to file replies to the petitions and assured the bench that no appointments and admissions will be made in the meantime based on the March 24 government order which has been challenged by the petitioners.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for members of the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, said no interim order should be passed without allowing them to place their response to the petitions.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on April 18 and asked Mehta and Rohatgi to file their responses.
The state's Basavaraj Bommai government decided to scrap the four per cent reservation for Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions weeks ahead of the state assembly polls on May 10.
The state government announced two new categories for reservation and divided the four per cent Muslim quota between the Vokkaligas and Lingayats, the two numerically dominant and politically influential communities. Muslims eligible for quotas were categorised under the economically weaker sections.
The state government's decision has pushed the reservation limit to around 57 per cent now.