Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today
declared as unconstitutional reservation on religious grounds
while allotting flats built by a government agency.
A division bench of Chief Justice J N Patel and
Justice B Bhattacharjee hearing a PIL held that there was no
provision for reservation on religious grounds in the
Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, a West
Bengal government agency, had on March 10 floated an
advertisement for sale of nearly 300 flats at Baishnabghata in
the southern outskirts of the city.
The brochure said there would be 26 per cent
reservation in allotment of the flats for religious minorities
like Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, etc., counsel Kaushik
Chanda submitted on behalf of the petitioners.
Challenging this, the petitioners submitted that the
Constitution has no provision for reservation on religious
grounds and that secular nature of the government would be
affected if such reservations are made.
Appearing for the KMDA, counsel Soumitra Basu
submitted that they would be guided by the High Court and
would abide by its decision.
Hearing both the parties, the division bench passed
the order declaring such allotments illegal and asked KMDA to
issue fresh advertisements for selling the flats.