J. Venkatesan

However, Supreme Court protects admissions already made

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday restrained the Andhra Pradesh Government from making new admissions to educational institutions under the four per cent Muslim quota for 2007-08. The court, however, made it clear that admissions already made will be protected.

A three-Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice V.S. Sirpurkar passed this order on a special leave petition against the interim orders of the Andhra Pradesh High Court refusing to stay the implementation of the law enacted by the State providing for four per cent quota exclusively for Muslims in educational institutions and public employment.

In its brief order, the Bench said that no new admissions should be made under the four per cent Muslim quota but admissions already made would be protected.

The Bench directed listing the matter for further hearing on October 5.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Harish Salve told the Bench that except a few communities like Syed, Saiyed, Sayyad, Mughal, Pathans, Irani, Arab, Cutchi Memon and Bohras, all other Muslim groups had been brought under reservation. Most of the communities who were excluded were not found in Andhra Pradesh. He said, “you can’t identify the entire Muslims as a backward group. This is the most pernicious form of reservation.”

Contending that this was a very serious matter with far-reaching implications in the society, Mr. Salve sought a direction to stay the admissions.

Proper exercise

Appearing for the State, Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati said that a proper exercise of identification of the backwardness among Muslims was carried out. The reports of the Krishnan and Sachar committees were considered by the Commission before the inclusion was made.

Communities

The Bench referred to the 14 categories specifically included for reservation and in the 15th category all other Muslim groups except a few communities had been excluded.

It said, “that means everyone is included. It shows non-application of mind".

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