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No caste reservation for people who convert religion – Madras High Court

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Chennai. Madras High Court said that a person who has converted to another religion cannot claim the benefits of the community in which the person existed before the conversion. The court also dismissed a petition filed by a Dalit youth, who converted from Hindu to Islam, seeking the benefits of reservation.

The Madras HC bench headed by Justice G.R. Swaminathan gave the order dismissing the petition by a Hindu man from the most backward community, who had converted to Islam. The petitioner subsequently sought caste-based quota in state government jobs. The bench observed that once a Hindu man converts into another religion which does not recognise the caste system, the person ceases to belong to that caste in which he was born.

The justice observed that the reservation and allowances of a person who has converted to another religion is a matter that comes under the discretion of the Supreme Court and hence it is not something to be decided by the High Court.

Justice again examined the previous observation of the court which said that a person will lost his caste and sub-caste after being converted to Islam. Court also said that the person regains this when he goes back to his religion.

The petitioner converted to Islam in 2008 along with his family. It was not published in the Gazette. In 2018, he appeared for the Tamil Nadu Combined Civil Services Examination but failed to enter the merit list. The Public Service Commission, Tamil Nadu considered him under the General category. And following this, the man approached the High Court. However, the court pointed out that the Tamil Nadu government’s letter clarified that the candidate who converted to Islam from other religions will be considered as ‘Other category’.

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