Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India
File Photo

For how many generations would reservations in jobs and education continue, the Supreme Court sought to know during the Maratha quota case hearing on Friday and raised concerns over "resultant inequality" in case the overall 50 % limit was to be removed.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan was vehemently told by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra, that the Mandal judgement on capping the quota needed a re-look in the changed circumstances.

He said the courts should leave it to states to fix reservation quotas in view of the changed circumstances and the Mandal judgement was premised on census of 1931.

Arguing in favour of the Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas, Rohatgi referred to various aspects of the Mandal judgement, also known as Indra Sawhney case, and said the Centre's decision to grant 10 per cent quota to people from economically weaker section also breached the 50 per cent cap.

"If there is no 50 per cent or no limit, as you are suggesting, what is the concept of equality then. We will ultimately have to deal with it. What is your reflection on that... What about the resultant inequality. How many generations will you continue," observed the bench, which also comprised Justices L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat.

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