Legal Correspondent

Seven-judge Bench passes interim orders to this effect; final hearing in July first week

Advocate-General for continuing admissions as PG medical counselling ends on May 31

Earlier a five-judge Bench allowed State to go ahead with counselling but not make admissions

HYDERABAD: A seven-judge Bench of the High Court declared on Tuesday that there should not be any admissions into educational institutions of Muslim candidates under the A.P. Reservation in favour of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes of Muslims Act, 2007.

Comprising Chief Justice Anil Ramesh Dave, Justice T. Meenakumari, Justice B. Prakasha Rao , Justice D.S.R. Varma, Justice A. Gopala Reddy , Justice V. Eswariah and Justice Goda Raghu Ram, the Bench was dealing with a batch of cases challenging the constitutional validity of the State Government’s action in providing reservation for some select classes of Muslims in education and employment.

Senior counsel appearing for some of the petitioners, K. Rama Krishna Reddy, sought stay of the implementation of the Act as done by the Supreme Court in 2007.

Apex court order

However, Advocate-General C. V. Mohan Reddy pleaded for continuing the admissions since the last date for admissions into post-graduate medical courses was May 31.

Speaking through the Chief Justice, the Bench recalled the Supreme Court’s direction on September 28, 2007 that no further admissions should be made under the Act. In its final orders on October 12, 2007, the Apex Court made it clear that the writ petition be disposed of by the High Court finally before October 31, 2007. If it could not be disposed of, the High Court may consider passing an appropriate interim order, if any, regarding admissions of students.

Consequently, a five-judge bench passed interim orders permitting the Government to go ahead with counselling for different courses, consider the admission of the reserved category in accordance with the Act and finalise selections but not to make the actual admissions.

On Tuesday, the seven judge bench passed interim orders declaring that the final hearing would take place in July first week and declared that no admissions as per the impugned Act would be allowed.

It may be recalled that the High Court struck down the GO providing five per cent reservation to Muslims on the ground that there was no recommendation from the A.P. Commission for Backward Classes. An ordinance to that effect in 2005 too was set aside by the court.

As the Supreme Court too did not grant a stay, the Government referred the matter to the Commission which recommended four per cent quota for 13 categories of Muslims. A petition challenging it resulted in the latest decision.