Other States

SC stays implementation of 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education & jobs

File photo of demonstrators from the Maratha community for representation.   | Photo Credit: S Sudarshan

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday referred a group of petitions challenging the Maratha reservation law to a Constitution Bench.

Also read: Devendra Fadnavis misleading people over Maratha quota issue: Ashok Chavan

The Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao found merit in the arguments made by senior lawyers that a larger Bench should examine the issue of reservation for the Maratha community. Chief Justice S.A. Bobde will constitute the Bench.

The court said the Maratha quota, meanwhile, will not apply for admissions and appointments made in the State for 2020-21. However, the postgraduate admissions which have already been made will be left unaltered.

The court gave the petitioners liberty to seek an early hearing.

The three-judge Bench led by Justice Rao had reserved orders on pleas to refer the case to a larger Bench. Some of the senior lawyers had even sought the formation of an 11-judge Bench to re-consider the judicial law of 50% cap on reservations in appointments and admissions.

Also read: Convince Centre to be party in SC on Maratha quota: Chavan to BJP

The appeals challenging the Maratha quota law contend that the statute provides 12 to 13% quota for the community in Maharashtra. This has breached the 50% cap declared by a nine-judge Bench of the apex court in 1992.

The court heard detailed arguments of senior advocates like Kapil Sibal, Mukul Rohatgi and Gopal Sankaranarayanan for various parties in the case.

Mr. Sibal had reasoned that 28 States had already granted reservation exceeding 50% to their respective Backward Classes.

Lawyers had submitted that the court should take into consideration recent developments like the 10% quota for economically weaker sections introduced through the 103rd Constitutional Amendment.

The petitioners have claimed that the Maharashtra government has passed the quota law to make a mockery of the rule of law. They accused the State of using its constitutional powers arbitrarily for political gains.

They said the Act overstepped the constitutional limitations contained in the 102nd Amendment to the Constitution. The Amendment said reservation can be granted only if a particular community is named in the Presidential list.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 3:47:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sc-stays-implementation-of-2018-maharashtra-law-granting-reservation-to-marathas-in-education-jobs/article32560567.ece

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