Maharashtra govt files review plea against scrapping of Maratha quota

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday filed a review petition in Supreme Court challenging its May 5 order scrapping the 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs for the Maratha community. Standing counsel for state Sachin Patil confirmed that a review petition has been filed.

The state government in its review petition argued that the apex court has wrongly denied the government’s plea to refer the Indra Sawhney judgement to the larger bench on legal grounds. The government has taken objection to the 50% ceiling limit of reservation. The situation has drastically changed after declaring Maratha community as the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC), the 85% population became backward which cannot be adjusted in the 50% quota limit.

Further, the state government said the petition challenging the 10% economically backward section quota has already been referred to Constitution Bench and the matter with regard to Maratha quota ought to have been decided along with that because now EWS quota is on and above 50% ceiling. “Every state is above 50% ceiling and if you are going to decide the quantum of reservation and when EWS quota is implemented in breach of Indra Sawhney judgement then EWS and Maratha be decided by a larger bench,’’ noted the govt.

The government submitted that the 102nd Constitutional amendment is wrongly interpreted when at every point of time the Centre has clarified to the Parliament it would not take away the powers of state to grant quota. However, despite this, the court held a contrary view.

According to the government, the State Backward Classes Commission had recommended the quota under SEBC category but the court has substituted its opinion for its own opinion.

The government’s move came days after the Maratha Kranti Morcha coordinator Vinod Patil had filed a review petition and submitted that the State Backward Classes Commission report clearly carved out five exceptional and extraordinary circumstances for exceeding 50% reservation. However, the apex court did not take exceptional and extraordinary circumstances including erroneous exclusion of Maratha community from reservation for long period, opposition by OBCs to include Maratha in the OBC list, affirmative action was warranted for the upliftment of Maratha community due to special, exceptional and extraordinary circumstances and non-availability of jobs.

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