Cancelling freedom fighter quota in govt jobs illegal: HC

High CourtFile photo

The High Court on Wednesday ordered the government to retain the 30 per cent freedom fighter quota in government jobs. It also declared illegal the circular issued on 4 October, 2018 cancelling the quota system.

The HC bench of justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice Khizir Hayat passed the order.

Senior Advocate Munsurul Haque Chowdhuyr represented the petitioner while deputy attorney general Sheikh Mohammad Saifuzzaman Zaman represented the state.

The government, through a circular on 4 October, 2018, said direct recruitment in all government jobs in 9th grade to 13th grade will be completely based on merit, abolishing the quota system.

On 5 November 1972, the then government through an executive order introduced a 30 per cent quota for freedom fighters and 10 per cent for females in the government, semi-government, and defence and nationalised institutions.

Later, the government in different times reformed or changed the quota system.

Until the abolition, about 56 per cent of government jobs had been reserved for candidates from various quotas. Of this, 30 per cent were for freedom fighters’ children and grandchildren, 10 per cent for women, 10 per cent for people of underdeveloped districts, five per cent for members of indigenous communities and one per cent for physically challenged people.

On 2 June 2018, the government formed a seven-member committee, headed by the then cabinet secretary to reform the quota system amid demonstrations by students and job seekers for reforming the quota system.

Later, the public administration ministry on 4 October 2018, issued the circular cancelling the quota in direct recruitment process in the 1st class and 2nd class government jobs.

Ohidul Islam Tushar, president of Bangladesh muktijoddha sontan o projonmo kendrio command council, filed a writ petition challenging the government decision,

On 6 December, 2021, the High court issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the circular should not be declared illegal.

Cabinet secretary, secretary to the liberation war affairs ministry, secretary to the public administration ministry, chairman of public service commission were made respondents to the rule.