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Maratha reservation: Plea in Bombay High Court seeking ‘immediate cancellation’ of 10 pc quota | DETAILS

The Maharashtra government had passed a bill to give 10 percent reservation to the Maratha community in which separate reservation was given to the Maratha community. However, a petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court against the move calling it "illegal".

Reported By : Suraj Ojha Edited By : Ashesh Mallick
Mumbai
Published on: March 01, 2024 19:03 IST
Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, Maratha reservation, Manoj Jarange Patil, Bombay High Court
Image Source : PTI Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde with Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil

Maratha reservation: A plea has been filed in the Bombay High Court against the 10 per cent Maratha reservation given by the Maharashtra government last month, seeking “immediate cancellation” of the quota. The petition was filed by Advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte, Dr Jayshree Patil, Rajaram Patil and Linge. The petitioners claimed that the reservation to the Maratha community has been given “illegally”, while also “distorting” the Constitution. The plea will be heard soon by the court.

The Eknath Shinde government, after months of protests by activist Manoj Jarange and his supporters, had called a special session on February 22 and passed a bill to give 10 percent reservation to the Maratha community in which separate reservation was given to the Maratha community besides the 50 per cent cap. The reservation thus breached the 50 per cent ceiling put in place by the apex court. In the new reservation, a separate MSR SEBC category was created for the community.

What did the petitioners say?

The plea claimed that the state government cannot give reservation to any community.

“The state government has the right to make categories in the reservation. But it does not have the right to make categories in open or to give reservation above 50 percent. The state government has violated sections 125 and 142 of the Constitution,” the plea said.

The petitioners claimed that Justice Sunil Shukre was made the chairman of the commission which is “illegal”.

“The state government has formed many committees and commissions. A retired justice has been appointed on it. He is being paid more salary than a High Court judge. This should be cancelled. The given reservation should be cancelled immediately,” the petitioners said.

Maratha Reservation Bill

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly last month unanimously passed the Maratha Reservation Bill, aimed at providing reservation in education and employment opportunities to the Maratha community. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde, presented a bill in the state legislative assembly, suggesting a 10 per cent reservation for the Maratha community in educational institutions and government positions. The Maharashtra State Socially and Educationally Backward Bill 2024 outlines the provision of a 10-year review period after the implementation of the proposed reservation.

The bill, which was passed unanimously by the House, stated that the Marathas comprise 28 per cent of the total population of Maharashtra.

A substantial number of castes and groups are already placed in the reserved category, getting about 52 per cent of reservations altogether. It would be completely inequitable to place the Maratha community in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, it said.

The backwardness of the Maratha class is distinct and different from backward classes and, more particularly, OBC in the sense that it is more pervasive in terms of its coverage, it differs in its penetration and further regressive in character, the bill said.

Out of the 52 per cent reservation currently existing in the state, the Scheduled Castes are eligible for 13 per cent, Scheduled Tribes 7 per cent, OBCs 19 per cent, Special Backward Classes 2 per cent, Vimukta Jati 3 per cent, Nomadic Tribe (B) 2.5 per cent, Nomadic Tribe (C) Dhangar 3.5 per cent and Nomadic Tribe (D) Vanjari 2 per cent.

ALSO READ | Manoj Jarange booked for inciting people to bloc roads during Maratha quota stir

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