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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006, 13:43 GMT
Court blow for Muslim quota rule
By Abhishek Prabhat
BBC News, Delhi

India's Supreme Court has refused to block a high court ruling that quashed the reservation of government jobs for the Muslim minority in Andhra Pradesh.

The state's high court in November last year called the government's decision a violation of the constitution.

It said the constitution did not allow reservation of school places and jobs on the basis of religion.

The government had ordered five per cent of education places and government jobs reserved for Muslims.

Several student and Muslim groups as well as the state government had challenged the high court verdict in the Supreme Court.

'Final decision'

On Wednesday, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal refused to put the high court order on hold.

But the bench said those who had already been admitted to colleges or who had secured a government job on the basis of the reservations could continue in their positions until the issue was finally decided by the Supreme Court.

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