Tuesday, 6 May 2008

AP Government Knocks SC's Door Over Muslim Quota

May 5, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 4: The State government has hired eminent advocate K Parasaran to file a petition in Supreme Court seeking continuance of four per cent quota for backward classes among Muslims in educational institutions.
The petition, challenging the order of Andhra Pradesh High Court, which stayed implementation of the Muslim quota, will be filed in the apex court either on Monday or Tuesday. State advocate-general CV Mohan Reddy held talks with Parasaran in New Delhi to fine-tune the petition.
The Congress government does not want to lose the support of Muslim voters in an election year and thus decided to seek SC’s intervention for continuance of the quota pending final disposal of the case by the High Court.
Earlier, the AP High Court stayed operation of the Muslim quota and said it would take up hearing on the issue after the summer vacation. Though admissions in professional degree courses have been completed, the academic year for postgraduate medical courses is about to start. The High Court’s stay will affect dozens of Muslim
doctors who wants to pursue superspeciality courses.
The State government acted following pressure from the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen. Muslim students from different parts of the State called on MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi seeking his intervention. The MIM leader in turn approached Minorities Welfare
Minister Muhammad Ali Shabber. The crucial byelections to 17 Assembly and four Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, where Muslims are in considerable number, has also prompted the government to hurry up with the case.
“We will explore all legal possibilities to ensure that backward Muslim classes get the benefits of reservations. We will move Supreme Court in a day or two seeking vacation of the stay. The government is hiring top legal experts for the success of the case,” Shabber told this correspondent.
The government’s idea is to seek SC’s intervention and get the stay vacated so that it could continue with the quota in the ongoing PG medical admissions, besides in the new academic year that begins next month. About 15,000 Muslim students stand to be benefit from the quota in all professional courses.

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