Wednesday, April 24, 2024

SC objects to public statements on Karnataka Muslim quota when matter is sub-judice

The Supreme Court on Tuesday took objection to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other public functionaries making public statements about the scrapping of 4 % reservation for Muslims in Karnataka, since the matter is sub-judice before the apex court, Bar And Bench reported.

During the election campaign, Shah and other BJP leaders repeatedly emphasised that there is no provision for reservation on the basis of religion in the Constitution and reservation for Muslims was unconstitutional.

A bench of Justices KM Joseph, BV Nagarathna and Ahsanuddin Amanullah remarked that public functionaries should exercise caution in their speeches, and not politicise issues that are under consideration by the Court.

The remark was made after Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioners challenging the decision to scrap the quota, complained about Home Minister’s speeches.

“Every day the (Union) Home Minister says we have scrapped. [Tushar] Mehta represents the same party, it is contempt of Court,” Dave said.

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

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 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.

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