Attorney General Mahbubey Alam today sent his expert opinion to the government about the quota for freedom fighters’ children and grandchildren in the civil service.
“I have sent my opinion about the quota [for freedom fighters’ children and grandchildren in the civil service] to the public administration secretary through its officials. Four high officials of the public administration ministry came to my office to receive my opinion today,” the attorney general told The Daily Star this afternoon.
The top law official of the state, however, declined to disclose the contents of his opinion, saying that “It is a very confidential matter between me and the government”.
The public administration secretary will place the expert opinion before the committee formed by the government to evaluate the quota system for taking decision on this issue, the AG said.
Mahbubey Alam said he received a letter from the public administration secretary last week. In the letter, the secretary sought his opinion about the quota [for freedom fighters’ children and grandchildren] in the civil service, he added.
Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam, who leads the seven-member committee formed to evaluate the quota system, told reporters on August 12 that the panel would seek the Supreme Court’s opinion about the 30 percent quota for freedom fighters’ children and grandchildren.
The evaluation committee suggested that almost all quotas in civil service should be abolished, and merit-based recruitment should be prioritised.
In a verdict in 2015, the Appellate Division of the SC said, “The High Court Division observed that the reservation of 30 percent quota for the children of freedom fighters shall be followed strictly.”
A large number of youths took to the streets since April 8 in different parts of the country, including the capital Dhaka, demanding quota reform. After the students’ demonstrations spiraled nationwide, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11 spoke at parliament about scrapping the quota system in the civil service, prompting students to suspend the movement.
Fresh demonstrations began in late April demanding publishing of a gazette notification on scrapping the quota system as per the PM’s announcement. The demonstrations continued across the country, including boycotting of classes and examinations at the educational institutions.
A committee was formed by the prime minister on June 26 to review the quota system and its reformation.
On June 30 and July 1, activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student front of ruling Awami League, attacked the protesters at Dhaka University (DU) and Rajshahi University (RU), leaving a number of students injured.
Law enforcers in the following days arrested and remanded a number of leaders of the quota reform movement, and many of them are still in jail or placed on remand.