Thiruvananthapuram: Despite the legal advice received from Law Secretary, government of Kerala is reportedly moving ahead with its decision to introduce the element of economic reservation in Devaswom boards.
Options like amending the laws to facilitate this are also on the cards. Earlier, Law Secretary BG Harindranath had given legal advice that the proposed reservation on economic grounds would not stand legal scrutiny, but the government looks intent on granting reservation to the financially weak segment of the forward castes. In parallel, moves are also afoot to obtain legal advice from other sources too on the issue.
Devaswom minister Katakampally Surendran also has said that the government will proceed with economic reservation and that it is reviewing the legal advice received in this regard. However, the government will any way implement the decision to give 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker section of forward communities and necessary amendments to laws will be made for this. The government position is supported by the Nair Service Society (NSS), but is opposed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP).
Government sources argue that by the introduction of economic reservation, other communities will not lose their opportunity, and it will only increase the reservation for other communities. (The government circles are silent on the fact that although existing quotas are not reduced, the 10% newly reserved for the poor of forward castes is being taken away from open quota which was originally accessible for non-reserved backward communities too, and the new quota will only give a denser share of jobs to forward castes). The government and LDF are of the view that it would not help their image if the government goes back on a decision it took in the matter of job quotas. They also recall the good impression created about the government by the decision to appoint non-Brahmins as temple priests. The Travancore Devaswom Board has also supported the government move to introduce economic reservation.