Mumbai: In a significant ruling, the Bombay High Court recently allowed students from Maratha community to seek admissions under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota. The HC, however, clarified that once these students seek admissions under the EWS quota they will have to give up their claims of belonging to the socially and educationally backward class (SEBC), for education purpose.
A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Madhav Jamdar passed the orders in view of the fact that the Supreme Court has stayed the HC's orders validating the Maratha quota for education purposes and in public service.
The apex court had specifically ordered the state not to grant admissions to any student under the SEBC quota till a larger bench (of five judges) finally decides the issue.
The bench led by Justice Shinde was petitioned by a medical student challenging orders of a Tehsildar from Karad, rejecting his claims under the EWS quota.
The student, who originally belonged to the Maratha quota had sought admission under the EWS category.
To buttress his case, the student had cited a decision of the Aurangabad bench of the HC which had allowed a group of students to seek admissions under the newly introduced EWS quota.
Notably, the Aurangabad bench had said, "In the circumstances, the students would be able to opt for EWS category, and may have EWS certificates according to present criteria, however, upon option for EWS reservation, its fall out would be, they will be out of SEBC category consideration for educational purposes."
Relying on this order, Justice Shinde said, "The admission of the applicant student to the course be considered from EWS category, and he will not be able to claim benefit of being SEBC candidate for educational purposes."
The judges accordingly disposed of the petition.