Muslim convert can’t get backward class status, rules Madras high court - The Times of India CHENNAI: A converted Muslim woman's claim to be considered as a backward class candidate for a government job has been rejected by the Madras high court. Justice K Chandru, rejecting the petition filed by A Fathima, said: "She was a Hindu before her marriage and born in Hindu Sengunthar community. Therefore, she cannot transfer her community only because of her marriage." Her claim to be considered as a backward class Muslim cannot be entertained because it is based on her marriage and not on her birth, he said. Fathima had applied for the post of assistant in the rural development and panchayati raj department. The woman married Mohamed Asath of Muslim Labbai community in May 2006, converted to Islam and changed her name from A Premavathy into A Fathima. She notified the name change and approached the high court, saying that she was eligible to be selected for the job under the BC Muslim category. She wanted the court to direct the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to appoint her. Justice Chandru, rejecting the community certificate issued by the Kancheepuram tahsildar certifying that she belonged to Muslim Labbai community, said the certificate was not valid because she did not belong to the community. "It is only her husband who belongs to the community," he said. He also referred to a Supreme Court order which said: "A candidate who had the advantageous start in life, being born in a forward caste, but is transplanted in backward class by adoption or marriage or conversion, does not become eligible for the benefit of reservation. Acquisition of the status of scheduled caste, etc by voluntary mobility into these categories would play fraud on the Constitution and would frustrate the benign constitutional policy." The TNPSC had a list of backward classes, as per which scheduled castes who converted to Christianity were notified as BCs, the judge said, pointing out that such a provision was absent in the case of Muslims. "In the absence of such a provision where converted Muslims are automatically included in the BC list, Fathima's prayer that she be declared as a BC Muslim, and consequently, be selected for the post cannot be accepted by this court."