Maratha quota: Committee to review preparations with legal team today
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After making an appeal to the central government to support Maharashtra government's stand for the restoration of Maratha quota, a cabinet sub-committee headed by Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan will hold a meeting on Monday with the legal team. The apex court will start the hearing from January 25. Chavan, who will be accompanied by Ministers Balasaheb Thorat, Dilip Walse-Patil, Eknath Shinde and Anil Parab, will review the preparations for the next hearing, which will continue before the Constitution Bench.

A five-member coordination committee of lawyers appointed by the state government to coordinate with the lawyers of the government and the Maratha community will also participate online. Monday’s meeting is important, as the apex court, in the last hearing, had said that it will resume a day-to-day hearing on the government’s application to lift the interim stay on 12% quota in education and 13% in government jobs to the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018.

Last week, Chavan demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led union government should put the Maratha quota act in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution so as to preclude its judicial review. Further, he suggested that the hearing needs to take place before the 11-member Constitution Bench on the judicial issue related to the 50% limit on quota ruled in the Indra Sawhney case and also on the state government’s rights under Article 102. He also added that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will formally appeal to the central government for its intervention in the case.

Chavan’s statement is important, as the apex court had asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to assist the court in the matter. "So the central government should now submit its say in favour of the quota,’’ he noted.

Further, Chavan had urged BJP to use its influence so that the central government can support the state government’s argument for the restoration of the quota to the Maratha community.

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