By LE Desk
Kochi, June 2, 2021: Why is the state government financing a religious activity, the Kerala High Court has asked while considering a petition against the former’s decision to provide pension to madrasa teachers in the state. The court also asked the state to clarify whether it has made any contribution to the Kerala Madrasa Teachers’ Welfare Fund.
A division bench comprising Justice A Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath issued the order on the petition filed by Manoj, secretary of Citizen Organisation for Democracy, Equality, Tranquility and Secularism, seeking to quash the Kerala Madrasa Teachers’ Welfare Fund Act, 2019, which is passed for disbursing pension and other benefits to madrasa teachers, The New Indian Express reported.
C Rajendran, counsel for the petitioner, said from the reading of the Act, it is quite clear that these madrasas are imparting knowledge only about the Quran and other textbooks pertaining to Islam. The pumping of huge amounts of money for the said purposes is unconstitutional and against the principles of secularism enshrined in the Constitution.
The bench observed madrasas in Kerala are different from those being run in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal which have been imparting secular as well as religious education. “In Kerala, these are involved purely in a religious activity. What is the purpose of contributing funds by the state for a religious activity?,” it asked.
The petitioner said the government is contributing money to the scheme. The welfare fund is mainly for the payment of a fixed amount and pension to a member who has completed 60 years and has remitted contribution for not less than five years.