Power of the State to lay down criteria for determination of linguistic minority, not arbitrary: Karnataka HC

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench comprising of H.G.Ramesh and Mohammad Nawaz JJ., decided on a Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking to quash the proviso to clause 2.2 relating to ‘linguistic minority’ of chapter 4 of the Karnataka State Information Bulletin UG NEET 2018.

The facts in the present case state that the above-mentioned Clause 2.2 which specifies the criteria to determine a candidate’s categorization in the ‘linguistic minority’ group is violative of Articles 14, 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India.

The grievance of the petitioner was that of not being considered in the ‘Telugu Linguistic Minority’ in Karnataka. The criteria to claim linguistic minority was to have completed 10 years of study which in the opinion of the petitioner was ‘arbitrary and unreasonable’ and violative of Articles 14, 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India.

While noting the submissions of the parties, the High Court stated that ‘In law, for a person to claim the status of belonging to a linguistic minority in a State, he shall ordinarily be a resident of that State. Residence does not mean a temporary residence; therefore, State will be within its power to lay down reasonable criteria in that behalf.’ The Writ petition was dismissed following the observation of the High Court on finding no merits. [Mylepalle Vaibhavi v. Karnataka Examinations Authority,2018 SCC OnLine Kar 644, dated 12-07-2018]

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