Quota benefits valid post reconversion: HC

Chennai, India - In a significant order, the Madras High Court has ruled that a Dalit born to Hindu parents, who had converted to Christianity, on reconversion to Hinduism, is entitled to quota benefits provided to SCs.

A division bench comprising Justices Dharma Rao and SK Krishnan allowed a petition by R Shankar, who challenged the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission's rejection of his application to the post of civil judge under the SC quota.

The judges said the question involved was whether a person, whose ancestors belonging to a Dalit community before converting to Christianity, could be regarded as an SC on reconversion to Hinduism.

In the case, Shankar's ancestors were Hindu Adi Dravidas who had converted to Christianity. But he had reconverted to Hinduism.

His conversion to Hinduism was recognized by people belonging to the community.

However, Shankar's claim that he had the right to enjoy the benefits of other SC candidates and that he was eligible for the post of civil judge under the SC quota had been rejected by the TNPSC.

The petitioner's parents were Hindus before converting to Christianity and therefore his reconversion to Hinduism was acceptable.

Hence he was entitled to enjoy the rights and benefits enjoyed by other people belonging to SC communities, the judges said.

They said he was entitled to be appointed as civil judge under the SC quota and quashed the TNPSC order.

The court also directed the commission to appoint him to the vacant post if he was otherwise eligible.