New Delhi: The Centre has justified its
policy of preferential treatment to the members of the Muslim
community on the basis of Sachar Committee recommendation and
said no special favour is being bestowed on them.
In an affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court, which is
hearing a case on the constitutional validity of such policy,
the Centre said such steps are required for upliftment of the
Muslim community as the Committee brought out "stark" reality
about the condition of the Muslims in the country.
Without such a programme the members of the community
will continue to lag behind in society, it said.
"The Indian state is duty-bound to foster inclusive
growth and mainstream these groups, communities which are
lagging behind. This is all that is intended to be done and no
special favour is being bestowed on them. Without a programme
of affirmative action, the gap existing today, and brought out
in the report, cannot be bridged," the affidavit said.
The Centre said the special programme is being launched
in 90 minority concentration districts in the country.
"The multi-sectoral Development programme is implemented
in 90 identified minority concentration districts which are
relatively backward in terms of basic amenities and
socio-economic parameters to address the development
deficits," the 14-page affidavit said.
The government`s response came on a public interest
litigation filed by an NGO `Rashtriya Mukti Morcha` which
alleged the Sachar Committee and government`s action on
its report were unconstitutional.
The NGO pleaded the Muslim community cannot be given
special treatment as the Constitution prohibits discrimination
on the ground of religion.