SC to hear plea challenging Bombay HC order on Maratha reservation on Friday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday hear a plea challenging the validity of the June 27 verdict of the Bombay High Court, which gave a go-ahead to the quota for the Maratha community in jobs and education in Maharashtra.

Sadavarte Gunaratne, the lawyer who challenged the Bombay High Court order, said, “The Bombay High Court judgment was challenged in the Supreme Court. The Honourable Chief Justice was pleased to have the hearing on coming Friday.”

Speaking to ANI, Gunaratne said, “We have mentioned two points in front of the Chief Justice. One is that the reservation in Maharashtra after adding 16 percent Maratha reservation goes up to 68 percent. Secondly, the state government through the service commission is going to fill up 72,000 posts in the state of Maharashtra; hence we appealed for an urgent hearing in the matter.”

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“We are saying that the Maratha reservation is a threat to the basic structure of the Constitution. Secondly, several judgments have said that the reservation should not go beyond 51 percent. This reservation was provided only for political one-upmanship,” he added.

The Bombay High Court had on June 27 upheld the reservation given to the Maratha community in educational institutions and government jobs.

The Court had directed to cap the reservation at 12 percent for admission to educational institutions and 13 percent for government jobs.

The Maharashtra Assembly had, on November 30, 2018, passed the Maratha Reservation Bill which extended 16 percent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to the Maratha community.

Following the decision of the state legislature, several petitions were filed contending that the reservation to the community will raise the reservation in the state from 52 percent to 68 percent, which is 18 percent higher than the ceiling set by the Supreme Court.

On this, the High Court had said that a 50 percent cap on the reservation can be “extended in exceptional situations”.

The court also upheld the recommendations made by the Maharashtra Backward Class Commission about the “backwardness” of the community, which the government had considered while extending the quota.

The Maratha community, which has been declared as a socially and educationally backward class (SEBC) by the state government, makes up a total of 33 percent of the total population in the state.


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