Mumbai

PIL challenges Maratha reservation in Maharashtra

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court has challenged the Maharashtra cabinet’s recent decision to grant 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions. The petition filed on Friday claimed that the government has fraudulently categorised Marathas as ‘socially and educationally backward’, and that it has violated the Supreme Court order regarding reservations by doing so.

It has further said that the Maratha community is not a caste group, and is traditionally powerful and wealthy. It owns majority of the land, sugar co-operatives and co-operative banks in the State, the petition has claimed.

The petitioner, Ketan Tirodkar, has pleaded that the court should abort the process of converting this cabinet decision into a Government Resolution. The Bombay High Court is slated to hear the plea on Monday.

“Between 1962 and 2004, over1200 MLAs out of over 2000 MLAs i.e. 55 per cent were Maratha. More than 72 per cent co-operative institutions are controlled by Marathas,” the petition claimed.

It said that the current Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister hail from the Maratha community and that 99 per cent of the State’s Chief Ministers have been Marathas.

“All the academic Dons such as D. Y. Patil, Patang Kadam, Kamalkishore Kadam, Pawars of Vidya Pratishthan have their educational empires spanning over thousands and thousands of acres of public land pocketed from the government under the guise of public interest,” the PIL has stated.

“The State’s decision to brand the Maratha Community as ‘Socially & Educationally Backward’ is a fraud committed upon this country & it’s Constitution. The decision has defrauded the basic fabric of the Constitution,” it has further alleged.

Mr Tirodkar has said that the cabinet decision is in contravention of the Supreme Court judgement in Indira Sawhney vs. Union of India case.

While quoting from the judgement, Mr Tirodkar has said, "Reservation being extreme form of protective measure or affirmative action it should be confined to minority of seats. Even though the Constitution does not lay down any specific bar but the constitutional philosophy being against proportional equality the principle of balancing equality ordains reservation, of any manner, not to exceed 50 percent."

The petition has claimed that Marathas have traditionally mingled with the Kunbis for fraudulently getting benefits as a backward caste.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 5:06:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/pil-challenges-maratha-reservation-in-maharashtra/article6155379.ece

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