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Supreme Court takes objection to Amit Shah’s remarks on 4 percent reservation for Muslims in Karnataka

The Supreme Court has taken objection to the statement made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other public functionaries about scrapping the four percent reservation for Muslims in Karnataka, as the matter is sub-judice before the apex court.

A Bench comprising Justice KM Joseph, Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said that all public functionaries should be cautious while giving speeches, and not politicise issues that were under consideration by the court.

The remark came after Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who appeared for the petitioners challenging the decision stating that every day the (Union) Home Minister says we have scrapped when the matter is sub judice.

Justice Nagarathna said if this is really true, why are such statements being made?

She further said that there has to be some [control] … by public functionaries. When matter is sub judice and before this Court, such statements should not be made.

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

The earlier 4 percent would be distributed equally among the Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas.

The Court had, last month, questioned the rationale behind the same. It had orally observed that the government had relied on an interim report rather than a final report to come to its decision.

The bench, however, did not issue any stay on decision after Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Karnataka government, assured the Court that no appointments or admissions will be made pursuant to the government order in question till the next date of hearing.

The Karnataka government in its counter-affidavit filed in the matter stressed that reservation on the basis of religion is not permissible.

The timing of the decision (close to the assembly elections voting day) is, thus, “immaterial”, it had added.

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