SC orders status quo on jobs for Muslims

New Delhi, Jan 4 | Updated: Jan 5 2006, 05:30am hrs
The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to stay the Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement quashing an ordinance providing 5% reservation for Muslims in government jobs and ordered status quo while referring the issue to a Constitution bench.

We are not inclined to stay the operation of the judgement and make it operational as it has invalidated the law, a bench comprising chief justice YK Sabharwal, justices CK Thakker and RV Raveenderan said in an interim order.

However, the bench gave relief to those who have already availed the benefit of the quota directing the authorities to maintain status quo on the issue.

We are of the view that status quo should continue to the extent that such persons who have been granted admission in the educational institution would continue with the course and not disturbed and likewise appointment, if any to public service is made, the same should not be disturbed, the bench said.

Admitting a bunch of appeals, including from the Andhra Pradesh government, against the High Court judgement, the apex court referred the matter to the Constitution bench.

Considering that an essential question of public importance has been invited in the matter and the High Court had granted leave to the state to approach the apex court...We grant leave in all matters and direct the same to be placed before the Constitution bench, the three-judge bench said.

Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the state government sought stay of the judgement which was opposed by senior advocate Harish Salve, who argued for the students on whose petition the High Court had quashed the ordinance.