Maharashtra Public Work Minister Ashok Chavan, who heads the cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, on Tuesday said the apex court has refused to give an interim stay on the implementation of 12% reservation in education and 13% in jobs for the Maratha community under the SEBC Act 2018. He said the legal team has strongly put up an argument in favour of quota. He was reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision to hear and pass interim orders on July 15 on petitioners challenging Maratha reservation.
Chavan reiterated that the state government is fully prepared to defend the quota which was upheld by the Bombay High Court last year. “The Maha Vikas Aghadi Government has retained the legal team led by former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi who had argued the state government’s case in the Bombay High Court which has upheld the Maratha quota. We are confident that the Maratha reservation will also pass the Supreme Court test. The government is quite committed for the same,’’ he noted.
The SEBC Act 2018, which was passed by the Devendra Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, was challenged in the apex court by one Jayashri Patil. On the other hand, Maratha Kranti Morcha coordinator Vinod Patil has urged that the matter be referred to a five-judge bench. The petitioners have challenged the Bombay High Court's decision to uphold the law by which the Maratha community would get reservations in education and jobs in Maharashtra.
Chavan said the sub-committee led by him had met six times and held marathon meetings with the legal team. ‘’The government has been working quite sincerely for the continuation of Maratha quota,’’ he viewed. The state government has prepared a 1500-page report justifying Maratha reservation.
Interestingly, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday had assured BJP’s full support to the state government in the ongoing legal battle.