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Dhaka Tribune

High Court: Decision to cancel freedom fighter quota in govt jobs illegal

  • Circular to abolish quota system in 2018
  • Govt decided to remove the 45% quota from 9th-13th grade
Update : 05 Jun 2024, 03:21 PM

The High Court has declared the decision to cancel the quota system, including the first and second-class freedom fighter quota in government jobs, invalid.

The High Court bench of Justice KM Kamrul Quader and Justice Khizir Hayat announced the verdict on Wednesday.

Deputy Attorney General Sheikh Md Saifuzzaman confirmed the information.

On October 4, 2018, the Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular to implement the cabinet's decision to abolish the existing quota system for direct recruitment to first and second-class posts in government jobs.

The Ministry of Public Administration issued the circular a day after the decision of the Cabinet to cancel the quota.

The government decided to remove the 45% quota for recruitment in government jobs from ninth to thirteenth grade, opting for merit-based recruitment after a prolonged student movement demanding quota reform. The quota review committee's recommendations led to this decision, approved during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on October 3, 2018.

Former cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam, in a briefing at the Secretariat after the meeting, said that there would be no quota for first and second-class posts.

Subsequently, some children of freedom fighters filed a writ in the High Court challenging this decision.

In response to job seekers' demands for quota reform, the government formed a seven-member committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on July 2, 2018. Initially, the committee was asked to submit its report within 15 working days, later extended by another 90 working days.

On September 17, 2018, then chief cabinet secretary of the quota reform or review committee Mohammad Shafiul Alam submitted a report to the prime minister recommending the removal of the quota.

The committee's report was presented to the Cabinet on October 3, 2018. The cabinet secretary confirmed that there would be no quota system in first and second-class government jobs, and direct recruitment would be based on merit. However, he noted that if a quota for a disadvantaged group becomes necessary in the future, the government could take measures. The quota system for third and fourth-class posts remains in place.

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