Not clear if all quotas will be reinstated or not

Students of Barishal University blocked Barishal-Kuakata highwayProthom Alo

It is not clear yet whether all quotas are being reinstated or only freedom fighters' quota in the recruitment of government jobs.

The matter, however, will be clear after the full verdict of the High Court.

The offspring of freedom fighters filed a writ with the High Court challenging the abolition of the quota for Class I and II in government jobs. Following the hearing on that writ, the High Court on 5 June declared the cancellation of the quota as illegal.

Deputy attorney general Sheikh Saifuzzaman represented the state in the writ.

He told Prothom Alo on Sunday that it now seems that all quotas have been reinstated but it cannot be confirmed until the full verdict of the High Court is available.

After independence, quota was always reserved for different backward sections of the society. After increase and decrease in different times, the quota was 56 per for government jobs till 2018, including 30 per cent freedom fighters' quota, 10 per cent for women, 10 per cent for people from backward districts, 5 per cent quota for ethnic minorities and 1 per cent quota for physically challenged persons. First offspring, then grandsons-granddaughters of freedom fighters were included in the quota system.

In 2018, Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad launched a movement demanding reform in the quota allocation. At one point of vehement movement, the government through a circular abolished the entire quota system in 9th to 13th grade jobs. The public administration issued a circular on 4 October in that year.

However, in 2021, seven children of freedom fighters including Ohidul Islam filed a writ with the High Court challenging the abolition of the freedom fighters' quota for government jobs.

Ohidul told Prothom Alo yesterday that a total of 56 per cent quota including 30 per cent for freedom fighters was there till the circular was issued. The Appellate Division in a verdict in 2013 directed that 30 per cent quota for freedom fighters should be adhered properly.

He said the writ was filed for reinstatement of freedom fighters' quota in government jobs of 9th-13th grades. Details can be learnt after the full verdict of the court is available, he added.

The circular had abolished the quota system for these grades while the quota remained effective in class III and IV jobs (14th to 20th grades).
Monsurul Haque, the lawyer of writ petitioners, on 5 June told Prothom Alo that about the verdict no bar remained in enforcing freedom fighters' quota in ninth to thirteenth grades. Quota for the freedom fighters was reserved after the liberation war, even before the constitution was framed.

He said the abolishment of the quota was clearly insulting.

The state applied to the Appellate Division seeking stay on the High Court order. The chamber court on 9 June set 4 July for hearing on the issue at the full bench of the Appellate Division.  

The six-judge Appellate Division bench, headed by chief justice Obaidul Hassan, did not hold a hearing on the government petition against the High Court ruling but asked the state attorneys to file a regular leave to appeal.

After that, Prothom Alo talked with attorney general AM Amin Uddin on the issue.

He said the Appellate Division might hold the hearing on it this week.