The Maharashtra government’s decision to provide 16 per cent reservation for backward Marathas and 5 per cent for Muslims in education and government jobs goes against the Supreme Court ruling that total reservations should not exceed 50 per cent.

As per the government’s announcement, the total reservation in the State will be 73 per cent. The reservation for Marathas and Muslims will be in addition to the existing 52 per cent quota for reserved communities. Though in Tamil Nadu the total reservation is 69 per cent, it is protected through legislation.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed the Andhra Pradesh government’s move to provide 4 per cent quota for Muslims. On appeal, the apex court while refusing to stay the High Court order referred the issue for consideration by a five-judge Constitution Bench and the matter is still pending.

In February this year, the Centre filed an application in the apex court providing for 4.5 per cent quota for Muslims within the OBC quota in education and employment. Though it agreed to hear the application, the court pulled up the government for the manner in which it was rushed through.