Madras High Court rules against quota in minority institutions

The Madras High Court has quashed a Tamil Nadu government order cancelling such status to a Muslim minority-run college in Chennai city.

The first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice PD Audikesavalu recently ruled, “The minority status is not a tenure status, ergo is not for a limited period.”

However, the competent authority can take up regulatory and supervisory measures by reviewing the profile of governing board members, the memorandum and the bylaws, of the educational institution, it said.

The order was passed on the petitions filed by Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women challenging a single judge’s order and the Tamil Nadu government’s 2021 GO cancelling the minority status on the grounds of violating the regulations of admitting only 50% of students from the minority community.

Saying that ‘social reservation’ need not be maintained by the institutions administered and managed by the minorities, the court stated that the State government would be within its right to impose a threshold cap of 50% for admission to minority community students.

“However, in the remaining 50% seats, filled on merit from the general category, the students of the minority community can be admitted on merit and the same would not be counted in the 50% quota for the minority students,” it ruled.