The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the state government on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed against alleged religious profiling of state board students from the Muslim community.
The PIL has also alleged that in the guise of filling Class X and XII forms online, the state government is asking for Aadhaar cards which amounts to contempt of the Supreme Court’s order on the use of Aadhaar card.
The division bench of acting Chief Justice Anant S Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav issued the notice to state government returnable on December 9. The division bench has sought replies from state government and the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) that conducts the examinations.
The petitioner, advocate K R Koshti, has said that the state government has made compulsory systems of religious profiling of students, Aadhaar card and has also made it mandatory to fill the forms online.
The petitions said that at the time of filling of application for standard X and XII examinations, a column asks the students whether they belong to a minority community or not. “If the candidate/student clicks “yes” in his answer, there is a further drop down menu that appears asking whether the candidate/student belongs to “Muslim” or to “Other” minority community,” it stated.
The PIL said that while there are other minorities in the country as well, the state government is “seeking to ensure religious profiling of the candidate/ students, specifically belonging to Muslim community, which is unreasonable and illegal.” It said that such a system should be set aside.
Koshti said that the systems are already under implementation and called them unconstitutional and illegal.
Calling such religious profiling of students “mischievous”, he said, “it has the potential to rip to shreds the very secular fabric of the country and our constitution.”
He has said that the basis of the PIL is a media report which he later verified himself with some schools.