Maratha quota: panel headed by retired judge to submit report

Maharashtra government’s Cabinet sub-committee on Maratha reservation decided on Saturday to appoint a six or seven member panel, headed by a retired judge, to study the recent Supreme Court verdict striking down a separate quota in admissions and jobs for the community.

The panel will have to submit its report within 15 days, based on which the government will decide on filing a review petition.

The Cabinet sub-committee, headed by Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan, took this decision at its first meeting after the apex court verdict.

Mr. Chavan said the verdict has protected appointments made under the Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC) till September 9, 2020.

“However,” he added, “appointment and selection are two different issues. The Chief Secretary will be holding meetings with secretaries of different departments to check on completed and pending appointments. The State government is positive regarding the appointment of candidates affected by the verdict. A decision will soon be taken.”

The Minister also announced that the Additional District Collector will be appointed as Officer on Special Duty at the district level to sort out problems faced by SEBC candidates.

Mr. Chavan said the apex court’s interpretation of the 102nd Constitution Amendment and its refusal to reconsider reservation in States beyond the 50% ceiling was discussed at the meeting.

He said, “The Parliament’s special privilege committee had stated that States’ rights will not be curtailed. During the court proceedings, the Attorney General initially said that States have no rights, while later the Solicitor General said the opposite. Even in the Supreme Court, the two Justices opined in favour of States’ rights.”

Mr. Chavan said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will be writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind urging them to ensure that the Maratha community gets the reservation.

Meanwhile, State Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil appealed against making provocative statements on the quota issue that could stir violence amid a pandemic. “The State police force is already strained due to the pandemic and it will serve no purpose to create unrest now,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 10:34:50 PM |

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