Legal Correspondent

State had promulgated an Act providing four per cent reservations for 15 groups of Muslims

The BC panel relied heavily upon the report prepared by former IAS officer Krishnan

HYDERABAD: A larger bench comprising of five judges of the High Court on Tuesday declared that the arguments in the batch of writ petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the State Government’s action in providing reservations to select groups of Muslims in public employment and education will heard from August 29.

Batch of petitions

The bench was dealing with a batch of petitions filed by R. Venu Kumar and five others.

It may be recalled that pursuant to the recommendations made by the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes, the State Government had promulgated an Act providing four per cent reservations for 15 groups of Muslims in the fields of public employment and education.

Some students, social activists and B.C. leaders filed the writ petitions.

When these writ petitions came up for hearing, the Division Bench referred the matter to a bench comprising five judges.

It may be recalled that when the State Government issued the G.O. in 2004 providing reservation to all the Muslims, it was struck down by a five judge bench.

No to stay order

Later on, pursuant to the report by the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes, five per cent reservation was provided for the Muslims in 2005 but was struck down again.

The State Government appealed to the Supreme Court which did not grant stay.

The Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes again embarked upon an enquiry and relied heavily upon the report prepared by former IAS officer Krishnan.

The Commission recommended for providing reservation to 15 groups of Muslims.

This has been challenged in the present batch and the Advocate General informed the court that counter affidavit has been filed on Tuesday.

The bench granted liberty to the petitioners to file appropriate replies and posted the matter to 29th August.