Mumbai: After conducting a day-to-day hearing for over a month, the Bombay HC on Tuesday reserved its judgment on the pleas challenging and supporting the 16 per cent quota to Marathas.
A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre said all the admissions and jobs granted to Marathas as per the 16 per cent quota, will be subject to the outcome of the bench’s verdict. It commenced the hearing of final arguments from February 6. To date, the bench heard arguments of former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, former Advocate Generals Vijaysingh
Thorat and Shrihari Aney. Even senior counsels Anil Sakhre, Pradeep Sancheti and A Datar made submissions. Justifying the Maharashtra govt’s decision to grant quota, Rohatgi argued the govt had full powers to go beyond the 50 per cent limit, in giving reservation to the Marathas.
Thorat, also appearing for the govt had clarified the reservation was not granted for political purposes. Instead, it was for the development of the Maratha community, which the State Backward Class Commission (SBCC) concluded to be “socially and educationally” backward.
Sakhre also submitted that the SBCC was an independent commission which gave a finding for quotas only after surveying over 40,000 families. He also claimed the govt did not interfered in the SBCC work. The submissions were made to counter the arguments advanced by Aney, Sancheti and Datar.
In his submissions, Aney had argued the govt had no powers to grant reservation to Marathas, especially after an amendment to the Constitution by which special powers were conferred upon the President to include or exclude communities on the list of reservations.
He had accordingly submitted that the decision to grant quota was illegal. Sancheti, appearing for advocate Sanjeet Shukla, had argued that the government has breached the orders of the Supreme Court by which the top court has directed all states not to exceed 50 per cent limit for reserved categories.
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