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Andhra high court stays Muslim reservation

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | July 22, 2004 12:45 IST

The Andhra Pradesh high court on Thursday suspended the order of the state government providing for five per cent reservations for Muslims as a backward community.

A division bench of the court, comprising Chief Justice Devender Gupta and Justice C V Ramulu, dealing with a batch of four writ petitions filed by students and others, pointed out that prima facie, the order of the government was contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court.

The bench also reasoned that the ongoing admission to medical and engineering courses in the state would affect over 3,000 students. "Therefore, it is necessary to suspend the operation of the impugned GO," the court said.

The division bench referred the cases to a larger bench for hearing on July 27.

It may be recalled that the Andhra Pradesh government had issued Government Order No. 33 on July 12, earmarking five per cent reservations for Muslims in educational institutions and employment through inclusion of the community in the list of backward classes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and other outfits of Sangh Parivar such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad stoutly opposed the reservations for Muslims and threatened to launch an agitation.

A VHP activist and some students filed the writ petitions in the high court.

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