Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque said that the government has to keep 30 percent quota in the civil service for the freedom fighters as the High Court ordered to do so.
“If the government want to abolish or reform the existing quota system it has to file a review petition against that verdict first and to get the verdict in favour of it,” said the minister while speaking over ‘Reservation of the freedom fighters quota and recent activities of the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs’ at a press briefing at the conference room of Information Department in secretariat on Wednesday.
Referring to an Appellate Division verdict that said ‘if worthy candidates are not available from the freedom fighters quota, there is space to fulfill it from the merit quota’ the minister said, “But even then, there is an obligation to preserve 30 percent quota.”
“So there is no scope to take any different decision by overriding, ignoring or passing the court order. If this is done, I think it’ll be dishonouring the court.”
Currently, 56 percent of the government jobs are reserved for quota holders where 30 percent for the children of freedom fighters.
‘Bangladesh General Student Rights Reservation Council’ has been demonstrating for several months demanding bringing down the total amount of quota by 10 percent.
On April 11, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in parliament that the quota system in the government service will be totally abolished.
On July 2, the government formed a high-level committee with Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam its head and ordered it to submit report by 23 July after reviewing the existing quota system.
The committee will recommend the government reform or cancellation of the current quota system with the rationale, if needed, by reviewing the existing quota system with different guidelines.
But Minister Haque said there is no scope for the dissolution of the freedom fighters quota, as long as there is a legal obligation.
“Those who are worried about the freedom fighters quota, I want to assure them that since this government believes in rule of law as well as the spirit of the Liberation War, it won’t reduce freedom fighters quota,” the minister said.
However, the quota review committee will be able to recommend changes in other quota except freedom fighters’, the minister said.
Among others, Chief Information Officer Kamrun Nahar was present at the press conference.