Supreme Court objects to Amit Shah's statement on 4% Muslim quota in Karnataka [9.5.2023]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said public statements should not be made in a sub-judice matter, after the court was informed that the Union Home Minister had made statements in connection with Muslim reservation in Karnataka.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the petitioners, cited before a bench headed by Justice K.M. Joseph a statement made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The bench said the court cannot permit politicisation like this, "when we are ready to hear the matter" and further added, when the matter is sub-judice and before the apex court then such statements should not be made.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Karnataka government, submitted that any religion-based reservation is unconstitutional. The Home Minister is reportedly said to have called the Muslim reservation against the Constitution. Mehta denied any knowledge of such a statement, however he stressed that "in the manifesto, one is entitled to".

Dave contended that he can bring on record the minister's statement before the court. The bench emphasized that the court has nothing to do with politics and public statements on this should not be made.

The top court recorded Mehta's statement that no action would be taken on the state government's March 27 decision to scrap the 4 per cent reservation to Muslims.

After the hearing submissions, the bench deferred the hearing on the matter till July.

The petitioners, which include L. Ghulam Rasool and others, have contended that the inclusion of Muslim community in the EWS list is unlawful.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had made some strong observations against the manner in which the Karnataka government scrapped the 4 per cent OBC quota for Muslims and placed them under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category, saying the foundation of the decision-making process is highly shaky and flawed.

The top court had observed that the state government's decision was prima facie based on fallacious assumption and was vitiated as it is based on an interim report of a commission. The petitioners moved the apex court challenging the Karnataka government decision to scrap the Muslim quota.

09 May 2023