Maharashtra: BJP-led Govt passed SEBC Act for Marathas after 102nd Constitution Amendment, says Chavan

The Maharashtra Public Work Minister Ashok Chavan, who chairs cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, told the state council on Tuesday that the 102nd Constitutional amendment passed in August 2018 says no state can award reservation to any community. However, the BJP-led government passed the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act proposing quota for the Maratha community in November 2018.

‘’Was the legislature misled by the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis,’’ asked Chavan while making a statement a day after the Supreme Court decided to send notices to states having more than 50% reservation.

The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018 inserted Articles 338B, which deals with the structure, duties, and powers of the National Commission for Backward Class, and 342A which deals with the power of the President to notify a particular caste as Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) and power of Parliament to change the list.

Chavan during interaction with the media at the Vidhan Bhavan said that the constitutional validity of the State Backward Classes Commission in the context of the 102nd Amendment and the right of the states to carve out a Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) on the basis of the recommendations of that commission has been questioned. At the same time, the Centre has said that if the reservation exceeding the 50 per cent limit is to be validated in the wake of the Indra Sahni verdict, then the states have to prove the exceptional and exceptional circumstances behind it. ‘’If the state does not have the right to create SEBC category, then how can the backwardness of that class be proved? This role of the central government is inconsistent,’’ he noted.

Chavan also countered the leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis’ statement that ‘’The issue of 102nd amendment was settled in the Bombay High Court while validating the SEBC Act or the Maratha Reservation Act. "So why this issue from the state in the apex court today?’’

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