No action will be taken on decision scrapping Muslim quota: K'taka govt assured SCtext_fields
New Delhi: The Karnataka government on Tuesday assured the Supreme Court that it would not take action on its March 27 decision to scrap the 4 percent Muslim quota in the OBC category for jobs and education.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Karnataka government, said he will be filing the reply during the day. A bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and B.V. Nagarathna considered Mehta's submission and scheduled the matter for consideration on May 9.
The apex court ordered that the earlier arrangement will continue till the next date of hearing as Mehta sought adjournment in the matter.
The Solicitor General said he is in personal difficulty, as he is arguing before the constitution bench which is hearing petitions related to same-sex marriage. He urged the court to put the matter for hearing on some other day.
The bench said no appointment as per assurance by the Solicitor General would be made and no prejudice would be caused to any contention.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the hearing has already been deferred four times, while opposing Mehta's request to adjourn the matter.
Dave said they will again do it and the petitioners would be affected by it. Mehta said the interim order passed by the court is already in the petitioners' favour.
Mehta, on April 18, had submitted that the Karnataka government would need more time to file its affidavit. The apex court deferred the hearing till April 25.
The state government had earlier also sought time to file its response to the challenge of its decision.
On April 14, the state government had given an assurance that it won't undertake any admission to educational institutions or make appointments on jobs in line with its March 27 order.
The court, then hearing a batch of petitions filed by L Ghulam Rasool and others, had said the decision was prima facie based on fallacious assumption and was vitiated as it was based on an interim report of a Commission.
The Supreme Court had made strong observations against the manner in which the Karnataka government scrapped the 4 percent OBC quota for Muslims and placed them under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category, saying the foundation of the decision-making process is highly shaky and flawed.
The top court had told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Karnataka government that "prima facie, we are telling you, the first thing is that the order which you have passed appears to suggest that the foundation of decision-making process is highly shaky and flawed it is on an interim report, the state could have waited for a final report that is one aspect. What is the great urgency?"
The petitioners moved the apex court challenging the Karnataka government's decision to scrap the Muslim quota. The petitioners had claimed that the Muslim community has been treated as socially and educationally backward in Karnataka since 1921 and there was no empirical data available to show that now they are socially and educationally advanced.
They also said the identification of the Muslim community as a socially and educationally backward class has been approved by the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, 1992 (Mandal case).
They also contended that the inclusion of the Muslim community in the EWS list is unlawful.
- With inputs from agencies