Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Taking into consideration the state-wide violence and seven suicides over the Maratha reservation cause, the Bombay High Court on Friday preponed the hearing on the issue by a week. The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Aurangabad-based Maratha Kranti Morcha leader Vinod Patil was earlier slated for hearing on August 14. However, a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudesai has now posted the matter for hearing on August 7.

The bench was moved by Patil through his advocate Leena Patil, who informed the judges that at least seven individuals from the Maratha community across Maharashtra have committed suicide. The bench was also apprised of the state-wide violence owing to the delay in deciding this matter. Having considered the contentions, the bench said, “Let the matter come up for hearing on August 7. We will hear it considering the urgency.”

The plea filed by Patil has sought an urgent hearing and disposal of the matter, which is pending before the HC so that students from the community get the benefit of the proposed reservation of 16 per cent in education and government jobs. During an earlier hearing in June, the government informed the bench that five different firms were deployed to collect data of the community. This data, as per the government, is being collected to substantiate its claim that the community is one of the most ‘socially and economically’ backward co-mmunity in Maharashtra.

Special counsel Ravi Kadam, representing the government had informed the bench that the data is voluminous and the firms collecting it would probably get it done by July 31. The government through a notification had constituted the eight-member State Backward Class Commission on January 4, 2017. This Commission was given the task to look into the voluminous data placed by the government in its affidavit to support its decision of granting 16 per cent of reservation to the Maratha Community. The HC had in March last year said it would hear the petitions against and in favour of the reservation decision, only after the Commission submits its report.

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