Even as a second public interest litigation challenging reservations to the Maratha community was filed on Wednesday, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High court that it would issue an ordinance to bring the reservation in force by next week.
While hearing the petition, the division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A. S. Chandurkar asked Advocate General Darius Khambatta about the status of the reservations. When he informed that the ordinance would be issued soon, the judges said the petition should be amended accordingly.
The petition challenged the reservations to both the Maratha and Muslim community, saying they violated the constitution. The High court is also hearing another petition challenging Maratha reservations filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar.
The latest petition filed by the Indian Constitutionalist Council (ICC), has said that the 16% reservations to Marathas and 5% to the Muslim community has violated the constitution.
“While article 15 of the constitution prohibits the discrimination on the basis of religion, article 16 (4) permits reservation of appointment or posts in favour of any backward class which is not adequately represented in the service of the State,” said Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte, who is representing the ICC.
The petition also claims that various Muslim classes already fall in the category like Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) and Scheduled caste/Scheduled tribes. It also states that various backward classes in the Maratha community too enjoy reservation in respective categories.
The petition argues that while social disability was a factor while granting reservations for the SC/ST communities, such factor does not arise in the case of Maratha reservations.