The Supreme Court today while adjourning the matter till July 25, 2023, raised objections to Home Minister Amit Shah's alleged comments made during the rally in Karnataka on scraping of 4% reservation for Muslims in the state, for the reason that it is an issue pending before the Court.

It was alleged by the petitioners before the Apex Court that Union Home Minster Amit Shah on April 25, 2023 during a rally in Karnataka had backed the BJP Government’s decision to scrap 4% quota for Muslims stating that the party did not believe in a religion-based reservation.

A bench comprising Justice KM Joseph, Justice B.V. Nagarathna, and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah noting the assurance by the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta earlier, directed that the interim order will continue till further orders.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi (intervenor) stated that the interim order should be further extended. While further seeking an adjournment in the matter as the SG's presence would be required in the same-sex marriage case before the Constitution Bench.

At the outset, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave argued that when the Solicitor General has already recorded his assurance that no admissions will take place pursuant to the Government Order, then such statements by the Home Minister is in contempt of the Court. He further submitted that he can place the statement on record. "I can see why they do not want us to take it up", he argued.

The SG refused to respond, stating that it is a political issue.

While highlighting the necessity to control public functionaries from making statements in public, Justice Nagarathna said, "If this is really true, can such statements be made? When the matter is sub-judice and before this Court, such statements should not be made".

Dave further contended that as both the Home Minister and Solicitor General represent the same party (Bhartiya Janta Party), that the SG is aware of such remarks.

While refusing to respond to such allegations, the SG said, "...Any religious-based reservation is unconstitutional". However, Dave vehemently objected to it.

The SG then said, "...Your lordships have to control...So far no judge has controlled him (Dave), and that is the problem".

Justice Joseph while turning towards SG noted, " can make such statements in an open court, you can argue but making such statements from a podium in public is completely different...We can not permit politicisation like this".

To that, SG submitted, "If somebody would have prevented someone from saying would have been protected under free speech".

One of the counsels for the petitioner also contended that "Media should take note of this...of what is happening".

"...This is completely politicising the matter. Let the message go out loud and clear that the Court is not involved...", said SG in response.

On April 13, the Karnataka government's decision to scrap the four per cent Muslim quota ahead of the assembly polls came under the scanner of the Supreme Court, which questioned the government order and said that prima facie it appeared to be on a "highly shaky ground" and "flawed". Taking note of the observations, the Karnataka government had assured the Apex Court that it will put on hold its March 24 order by which it had given expanded quotas in admission to educational institutions and appointment in government jobs to Vokkaligas and Lingayats, till the next date of hearing.

Cause Title: L Ghulam Rasool v. The State Of Karnataka