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AP High court to rule on reservations for Muslims

By Mohammed Siddique
February 07, 2010 21:26 IST
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A seven member bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court is expected to deliver its final judgment on the issue of reservations to Muslims in educational institutions in the state, on Monday.

The bench headed by Chief Justice A R Dave heard the case for more than a year and concluded the hearings in March 2009. A batch of petitions were filed in the high court challenging the constitutional and legal validity of the the Andhra Pradesh Reservation in Favor of Socially and Educational Backward Classes of Muslims Act-2007.

Under the act passed on July 23, 2007, the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh had extended 4% reservations in education and government jobs to the 15 backward groups of Muslims in Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier the case was heard by a five judge bench from 2007 to January 2008 but in view of critical issues involved in the matter, the case was transferred to a seven judge bench. When the high court did not issue stay order against the fresh admissions of Muslim students in professional colleges under the rule of reservation, the petitioners went to the Supreme Court but a three judge bench of the Supreme Court in August 2008 refused to stay the admissions and asked the high court to give the final verdict as early as possible.

The passing of the law was the third attempt by Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government to fulfillĀ his electoral promise of giving reservations to Muslims. His government had first attempted to give 5% reservations through an executive order but it was quashed by the high court in 2005.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad