Hire strong legal team to defend Muslim quota: Shabbir to KCR

Hyderabad: Former Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Saturday demanded that State Government engage a team of senior lawyers to fight the case of 4% Muslim reservation in the Supreme Court which is likely to come up for hearing from September 13.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement, informed that he had a detailed discussion with senior counsel in the Supreme Court and former Union Minister Salman Khursheed at his office in New Delhi on Saturday, regarding the 4% Muslim quota case.

It may be mentioned that Shabbir Ali is one of the petitioners along with Telangana & AP Governments to protect reservations given by the then Chief Minister Dr Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy Government in 2004. Shabbir Ali, who was a minister in YSR Cabinet, played an important role in giving 5% reservation to Muslims in jobs and education. However, the quota was reduced to 4% following the directions of the AP High Court. This was again challenged in the High Court and was struck down. Later, the State Government approached the Supreme Court seeking relief.

The Supreme Court had granted the stay on implementation of 4% Muslim reservation on March 25, 2010, and ordered the continuation of quota for 14 categories listed under BC-E Group until further orders and referred the matter to a Constitutional Bench.

After noticing that TRS Govt was not pursuing the case seriously in the Supreme Court, Shabbir Ali got impleaded in the case as a petitioner and is being represented by senior counsel Salman Khurshid.

The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is likely to start hearing the cases challenging the constitutional validity of reservation for Economically Weaker Sections and the reservation given for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) as a Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) on the 13th and 14th September. A 5-judge bench, comprising of Chief Justice UU Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S. Ravindra Bhat, Bela M. Trivedi and JB Pardiwala, has decided to list the matter on 6th September to set the timeline for hearing and completion of other pre-hearing steps. The hearing will start on the 13th of September and the bench will take up the EWS matter first, followed by the case relating to the Muslim SEBC quota.

He alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, who came to power in Telangana by promising 12% reservation to Muslims, never showed interest in defending the ongoing 4% Muslim quota. He pointed out that CM KCR, in the last eight years, did not hold a single meeting with the Law Department, Advocate General or any legal expert on how to defend the 4% Muslim quota in jobs and education.

“The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will be hearing the matter after 12 years. This is a ‘now or never scenario’ for everyone. The State Government should not take any chances and defend the ongoing 4% Muslim reservation with all relevant facts, statistics and arguments. CM KCR should hire a strong legal team of senior counsels to contest the case in the Supreme Court,” he demanded.