Supreme Court agrees to hear plea against Maratha quota

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a petition challenging s Bombay High Court judgment, allowing reservations for Marathas in jobs and educational institution. The matter will come up for hearing on Friday.

The Bombay High Court in June upheld the validity of reservations in education and government jobs granted to the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category but reduced the quantum from 16 per cent.

Bringing down the quota from the proposed 16 per cent to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in jobs, it observed that the higher quota was "not justifiable".

A Division Bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre also said that the government was entitled to create a separate category for SEBCs and grant them reservations.

The verdict came on a bunch of petitions challenging the state government's November 2018 decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community under the SEBC category.

In his initial reaction, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the court verdict and indicated that the new quota percentages recommended were acceptable to the government.

Vijayalaxmi Khopade, the lawyer for one of the petitioners, said the court also endorsed the report of the nine-member M.G. Gaikwad Commission classifying the Marathas as a "Socially and Educationally Backward Class".

The judges said the reservations proposed by the Maharashtra government were based on justifiable data submitted by the Backward Class Commission, Khopade had told IANS.

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