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SC issues status quo on HC verdict for reinstating quota system

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a status quo on High Court verdict that declared the scrapping of quotas in government jobs as illegal.

Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan said, “We will hear the arguments from all the aggrieved students through their lawyers. And the court will consider their statements during the disposal of main petition.”

After a hearing on two separate petitions challenging the High Court’s judgment, a five-member Appellate Division bench led by the chief justice passed the order for four weeks with a few observations and directives and set August 7 for next order.

The pleas were earlier filed by the government and two students of Dhaka University.

The Appellate Division in its observations and directives urged the agitating students to return to the respective classrooms from streets.

The court hopes that the vice-chancellors and proctors of all the universities and heads of other educational institutions will return their students to their respective educational institutions and ensure a suitable environment for education.

After the order, attorney general AM Amin Uddin said that the Appellate Division has asked all the relevant parties to maintain a status quo in the matter. That means the current status will remain in place. Quota system will not be followed for the circulars that were published based on the government’s 2018 circular abolishing quotas.

As per today’s order, a circular issued by the government in 2018 to abolish the existing quota system will remain in place.

Since Wednesday morning, the anti-quota protesters blocked different areas in the capital as per their announcement of ‘Bangla Block’ across the country.

On July 4, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s verdict.

On June 5, 2023, the High Court declared illegal the circular that cancelled the quotas, including those for freedom fighters, in first and second-class government jobs.

As a result, the 30 per cent quota for freedom fighters in government jobs will remain in place.

On October 4, 2018, the Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular to implement the cabinet’s decision to abolish the existing quota system for direct recruitment to first and second-class posts in government jobs.

Challenging the legality of the circular, in 2021, seven children of freedom fighters, including Ohidul Islam, filed a writ with the High Court.