A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will start hearing in the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of quota to economically weaker sections and a state law declaring all members of the Muslim community in Andhra Pradesh a part of backward classes, Live Law reported.

The decision to start hearing the cases on September 13 and September 14 was taken by a bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala.

The matters will be listed on September 6 to set the timeline for hearing. The economically weaker sections case will be taken up for hearing first, followed by the Muslim reservation in Andhra Pradesh.

The bench agreed to take up these matters as they are overlapping, Live Law reported.

The bench has also appointed four lawyers as nodal advocates – Shadan Farasat, Nachiketa Joshi, Mahfooz Nazki and Kanu Agarwal. Their duty is to ensure that common compilations in both the cases are filed for smooth handling of pleadings.

The economically weaker sections quota case pertains to the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019, passed by the Union government in the same year. The Bill seeks to provide 10% reservations in aided and unaided institutions to the economically backward from upper castes.

The other case, which is pending since 2005, is related to the reservation granted to Muslims in Andhra Pradesh as a socially and economically backward class.

A five-judge bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court had declared the government’s decision as unconstitutional and in vilations of Articles 15(4) and 16(4) (state’s power to grant quota to socially and educationally backward classes) of the Constitution. The High Court had also quashed reservation of seats in education institutions and public services, PTI reported.

Nineteen petitions, including one filed by the state government, have challenged the High Court order.