Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is holding a crucial meeting at his official residence with the senior ministers including Deputy Chief Ajit Pawar, Home Minister Dilip Wale-Patil, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Public Work Minister Ashok Chavan after the Supreme Court struck down the 12 reservation in education and 13% in government jobs provided to the Maratha community. The apex court observed the quota was in excess of 50% ceiling limit as unconstitutional. The Court held that there were no exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of reservation to Marathas in excess of 50% ceiling limit as a Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC).
Neither the Gaikwad Commission nor the High Court have made out any situation for exceeding the ceiling of 50% reservation for Marathas. Therefore, we find there are no extraordinary circumstances for exceeding the ceiling", the Court held in the judgment.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government sources told Free Press Journal, ‘’ The cabinet slated for 3.30 pm to be chaired by Thackeray will at length discuss the future course of action. The government after consulting the law and judiciary department and its legal team will take a call on filing a special leave petition challenging today’s order. In the meanwhile, the Chief Minister has already directed the home department to take all possible measures to maintain law and order situation.’’ Sources said the government will also reach out to the opposition and various pro-Maratha organisations to take their views before taking further action.
A senior minister said the state government may once again seek the Centre’s intervention to jointly argue constitutional and judicial issues especially when the apex court has yet to decide cases pertaining to other states where they have crossed 50% limit. In case of Maratha quota, the state government has argued that it has been cleared by the State Backward Classes Commission and it has been granted by carving out SEBC category.
He further stated that the state government will yet again seek Centre’s cooperation saying that the Maratha quota should be argued along with the petitions on the Economically Weaker Section quota and reservations given by various states.
June 2017: Maharashtra government constitutes State Backward Class Commission to study the social, financial and educational status of Maratha community.
July 2018: Sporadic violence across Maharashtra by the Maratha community demanding quota in education and government jobs.
November 15, 2018: Commission submits its report to the Maharashtra government.
November 30, 2018: Maharashtra legislature passes a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for Maratha community, declared as socially and educationally backward class by the government.
November 30, 2018: Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao approves and signs the bill.
December 3, 2018: Bunch of petitions filed in Bombay High Court challenging the quota decision, and terms it as violative of the Supreme Court orders which says that reservation in any state should not exceed over 50 per cent.
December 5, 2018: Bombay High Court refuses to grant interim stay on the quota decision but posts petitions for final hearing.
January 18, 2019: Maharashtra government files affidavit, standing by its decision to grant reservation to the Maratha community, and says it was meant to alleviate the “socially and economically” backward class.
February 6, 2019: A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre commences final hearing into all petitions pertaining to the Maratha reservation issue.
March 26, 2019: HC concludes hearing arguments in the petitions. Reserves its judgment.
June 24, 2019: HC says it would pronounce its verdict on the petitions on June 27
September 2020: SC granted an interim stay on Maratha quota
October 2020: Vinod Patil, convenor of Maratha Kranti Morcha filed an application in SC with a plea to lift an interim stay
October 2020: State Govt also filed an application to vacate the interim stay.
January 2021: State Govt files an application with a plea that 11-member bench needs to hear the case, also urges Centre to intervene
March 2021: SC reserved its decision on a batch of petitions challenging the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018
May 2021: SC struck down Maratha quota in education and government jobs