Maharashtra News: Bombay High Court To Hear Petitions Challenging Maratha Reservation Act

Maharashtra News: Bombay High Court To Hear Petitions Challenging Maratha Reservation Act

During the hearing on March 11, the HC had refused to grant an interim stay on the government’s decision to grant reservation to the Maratha community

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, April 03, 2024, 07:01 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

The petitions regarding the Maharashtra State Reservation Act 2024 will be heard by a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and two order judges. 

A notice to the effect was issued on Wednesday stating that the petitions regarding the maratha reservation shall be heard by a full bench comprising the chief justice and Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla. 

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

During the hearing on March 11, the HC had refused to grant an interim stay on the government’s decision to grant reservation to the Maratha community, saying that it has to first hear all the parties concerned. 

Court's Warning On Maratha Quota Implementation

The judges emphasised that the order passed by a co-ordinate bench on March 8, in one of the petitions, has stated that any admission given or employment made under the Maratha quota would be subject to final orders of this court on the petitions. “This is a clear warning/ indication/ notice to the candidates seeking admission or employment under the Act,” it had added. 

The state was asked to file a common affidavit in reply to all the petitions and provide a copy of the backward class Commission to the petitioners by March 26. The petitioners were asked to file their rejoinder affidavit by April 3 and kept the matter for hearing on April 10. 

Seeking quashing of the reservation, the petitioners have pointed out that the Supreme Court had earlier struck down the reservation to the community. 

Petitioners Argue Over Reservation Percentage Cap In Maharashtra

One of the petitioners, Gunaratan Sadavarte, has contended that with the reservation for the Maratha community, the percentage of reservation in Maharashtra is 72 per cent leaving only 28 per cent for the general category. The state already has 52% reservation and additional 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Section. 

Senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for another petitioner, has contended that there is a cap of 50 per cent for reservation for all states. However, only Maharashtra has exceeded that limit. 

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