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Supreme Court adjourns plea against scrapping of 4 percent reservation for Muslims in Karnataka to May 9

The petition challenging the decision of Karnataka government to scrap an almost three-decade-old four per cent reservation provided to Muslims in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in the state was adjourned by the Supreme Court till May 9.

As per the reports, the State of Karnataka told the Apex Court that reservation on the basis of religion is not permissible, while defending its decision to scrap the 4 percent reservation for Muslims in the State under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category ahead of the State’s assembly elections.

As per the government order, the Muslim community will be now eligible for reservation under the 10 percent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category. 

The earlier 4 percent is now to be distributed equally among the Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas.

The Solicitor-General for India, Tushar Mehta, assured the bench that the earlier regime relating to the Muslim quota would continue to ‘hold the field’ till the next date of hearing.

It was informed to the division bench of Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna that no appointment or admission would be made on the basis of the impugned government untill the next hearing.

The State of Karnataka sought for another adjournment .The solicitor-general told the bench that the affidavit is ready.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioners said that this is the fourth adjournment. The lawyer added that the matter was of great importance as it concerns the rights of a socially and educationally backward community here.

After the SG suggested that the matter should be listed on Tuesday, May 9, the senior counsel Dave said that it would be too late as the summer vacations will commence.

Dave also said that the quota has been scrapped altogether. It has been brought to zero. Mr Mehta’s statement only says that they would not make any new admissions or appointments on the basis of the recent government order.

Advocate Dave added that only if they say that as per the 2002 notifications, the reservation will continue, we will not have a problem.

Solicitor-General Mehta, however said that this was not the fourth adjournment, but second. He also reiterated that the state’s reply was ready to be filed.

Justice Nagarathna said,that we should record the statement in that case.

He also explained that till the next date of hearing, the impugned government order under judicial scrutiny would not be implemented.

Justice Joseph said that the solicitor-general has assured that the earlier submission will continue till the next date of hearing.

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