Madras HC dismisses plea seeking backward class recognition after religious conversion – India Today

Chennai News

Madras High Court dismissed a petition seeking to be identified as a BC (backward class) Muslim after a religious conversion.

Plea seeking to be identified as BC Muslim after conversion dismissed by Madras HC. (Representational Image)

By Akshaya Nath: The Madras High Court dismissed a writ petition seeking to be identified as a BC (backward class) Muslim after conversion. Justice GR Swaminathan cited a case law and reasoned that a person cannot carry his community of birth after conversion.

The case was filed by a man who along with his family members were Hindus and in 2008, got converted to Islam. The family belonged to the Most Backward Class (DNC) while following Hinduism. After their conversion to Islam, the petitioner changed his name and notified the same in the Gazette.


The Zonal Deputy Tahsildar, Ramanathapuram Taluk issued a community certificate dated October 28, 2015, certifying that the petitioner belonged to the Labbais community.

The main issue of caste certification cropped up when the man appeared for the TNPSC (Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission) exam for direct recruitment to the posts included in Combined Civil Services Examination – II (Group-II Services). The petitioner cleared the preliminary written examination held and also wrote the main examination.

But he was not included in the final selection list. The petitioner exercised him Right to Information Act and came to know that the reason for his non-selection was that the TNPSC did not treat him under the “BC (Muslim)” category. He was considered under the “General” category.

Questioning this stand taken by TNPSC, the petition was filed by the complainant.

The court noted, “The petitioner has enclosed the certificate issued by the Kazi of Tamil Nadu government for Ramanathapuram District on 25.12.2012. It reads that Sathiyamoorthy S/o. Lakshmanan had embraced Islam of his own volition and that he joined the Muslim Jamat as a member and that he is following Islamic norms and principles. This certificate declaring the petitioner’s conversion only states that the petitioner has become a Muslim and nothing more.”

Further quoting another case, the court said, “As observed in the S Yasmine case, a person cannot carry his community of birth even after conversion. Whether such a person should be given the benefit of reservation even after conversion is a question that is pending adjudication before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. When the Hon’ble Supreme Court is seized of the matter, it is not for this Court to uphold the claim of the petitioner.”

The writ petition was dismissed.