Scholarship row: Muslim groups change stand, call for legislation, not appeal

They feel enacting a law will be a better option than moving court with review petition
Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)
Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)

KOZHIKODE: Certain Muslim organisations have altered their suggestions to overcome the impasse created by the High Court order that cancelled 80:20 ratio in the educational scholarships awarded to members of the community in the state. Earlier, all organisations had unanimously asked the government to go for an appeal against the High Court verdict. But after much deliberations, they have reached a conclusion that enacting a legislation would be a better option than  moving the court with a review petition or appeal.

“There is a  misconception in society that the only remedy to overcome the court order  is going in for an appeal. That may be the reason why the immediate reaction was the  demand for appeal,” said Abdusamad Pookkottur, convener of the Samvarana Samrakshana Samithi. He said the crux of the issue was the change in the tag from ‘Muslim’ to ‘minorities.’ “The reality is that  the name of the scheme earlier was ‘Muslim cell’ which later became  ‘minority cell’ and Muslim scholarships became minority scholarships in  the due course.

The Muslim tag can be restored through an executive  order, which will solve the problem forever,” Pookkottur said. “Muslim  students will not get scholarships this academic year as a result of  the order. So, any delay in addressing the issue would complicate  things,” he said.Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen-Markazudawa  also opined that legislation will be a better solution. “The review  petition (if filed) will come up before the same bench and an appeal before the  Supreme Court will be time consuming,” said a leader of Markazudawa.

There  is also a demand to constitute a Muslim Community Development  Corporation with a chairman having the cabinet rank for the implementation of the  Sachar Commission recommendations. Leaders of the Muslim organisations have contacted the IUML leaders to apprise them of the  new demand and asked them to raise the issue at the all-party meeting being convened by the chief minister on Friday. The League’s response to the changed stance and whether the  party would raise the demand at the meeting are not known.

At the same time,  the Samvarana Samrakshana Samithi constituted by the Samastha Kerala  Jam-Iyyathul Ulema has approached leaders of all political parties and  all 140 MLAs with a request to help the community get back its  deserving rights.

A letter by N A M Abdul Khader, chairman of  the samithi, has been handed over to the MLAs and party leaders ahead of  Friday’s meeting. The letter said both the ruling  party and the opposition have a responsibility to take a united stand on the issue. It was the LDF that appointed the Paloli Mohammed Kutty Committee and it was the Congress that implemented the report of the Sachar  Commission, the letter said.

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