Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Reservations for Muslims: AP Govt explores new strategies

April 9, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 8: The State government is exploring new legal ways to ensure that Muslim students get four per cent quota in professional educational institutions during the ensuing academic year too.
The 2008-2009 academic year is scheduled to begin in June-July and unless the government obtains special permission from the AP High Court before the admission process begins, Muslim students will not the quota. Since this is the election year, the government does not want to deny four per cent reservations to the principal minority community in the State.
"We are seized of the issue. The government will request the High Court to speed up the process of constitution of seven-member larger bench in view of the new academic year. Alternatively, the government will urge the court to grant special permission to continue with the reservation process pending final disposal of the case," Minorities Welfare Minister Muhammad Ali Shabber told this correspondent.
The Muslim quota case has been pending in the High Court for the past six months. The court directed that the government go ahead with the counselling process during 2007-2008 but should not confirm the admissions. The matter was later referred to a seven-member larger bench, which is yet to be constituted.
Nearly 8,000 Muslim students benefited because of the four per cent quota in the last academic year. The government wants to extend the facility this academic year too by seeking HC's permission to continue with the reservation process during 2008-2009.
Meanwhile, two medical students G Sreenath and K Malathi, challenged in the High Court on four per cent quota for Muslims in medical PG degree and diploma courses. They sought that the court order that the government should not implement the quota and should rectify the roaster system.
Advocate-General CV Mohan Reddy said the matter was pending with the court and urged it to speed up the process of constituting the larger bench to hear the case.
"As per the oral court orders counselling in professional courses has been completed but the admissions have not been not approved," he said.

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