Bombay HC To Decide If Backward Class Commission Which Recommended 10% Maratha Reservation Should Be Made Party To Challenge

Bombay HC To Decide If Backward Class Commission Which Recommended 10% Maratha Reservation Should Be Made Party To Challenge

The bench, while keeping the matter for hearing on Tuesday, said that it was very sorry to note that certain reckless pleadings are made in a few of the petitions challenging the reservation.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, July 02, 2024, 01:33 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay High Court  will decide whether to make the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission headed by retired Justice Sunil Shukre, a party to the petitions opposing the 10% reservation granted by the State to the Maratha community.

The law was passed on February 20 by the Maharashtra legislature granting 10% reservation to the community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category in government jobs and education. The Governor’s notification was issued on February 26. Following this, a batch of petitions opposing and supporting the reservation have been filed.

During the hearing on Monday, three-judge bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla initially opined that the Commission need not be made a party. However, it said it will decide the application filed by an advocate seeking to add the Commission as a respondent. 

Advocate Subhash Jha, appearing for one of the petitioners, Bhausaheb Pawar, submitted that some of the petitioners have made personal allegations against Justice Shukre by calling him an "activist of Maratha community" and alleged malafide on his part. Since the report prepared by the Justice Shukre Commission will affect the lives of crores of citizens, the Commission needs to be made a party.

The bench, while keeping the matter for hearing on Tuesday, said that it was very sorry to note that certain reckless pleadings are made in a few of the petitions challenging the reservation. It said that since the issue was serious and was going to affect a large number of populaces in the state, the petitioners ought to have been more careful with the pleadings. 

Advocate General Birendra Saraf, appearing for the State, said he has been saying since day one that the Commission should be added as a party and given an opportunity to respond since its appointment and its report has been challenged.

However, several of the petitioners opposed this saying that they have challenged the constitutional validity of the Act and hence the Commission need not be heard. They sought the bench to continue hearing the matter.

Senior counsel V A Thorat, appearing for the state in some of the petitions, pointed out that some petitions have made certain allegations against the individual members of the commission.

The bench, then said it would not have been bothered by the application but in some of the petitions prayers have been sought against the commission and its report and hence it would be appropriate to first hear the application.

 “I am very very sorry to say this but in some of the petitions the pleadings are reckless. This is a serious matter that is going to affect a large number of populaces in the state. You all should have been more careful in the pleadings made. Simple prayer must have been made challenging the vires of the Act,” the CJ said.

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