The politically influential Maratha community has received a major relief as the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, has not granted an interim stay on 12 per cent quota in education and 13 per cent in employment as per the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act 2018 in Maharashtra. Hearings will be held daily from July 27 for three days.
The cabinet sub-committee chaired by Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan said despite repeated pleas by the opponents of the Maratha reservation, the apex court has not granted an interim stay, which is a big positive. He gave credit to a legal team representing the state government for the same. The team comprises former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Paramjit Singh Patvalia representing state government, senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Rafiq Dada for intervenors and PS Narsimha appearing for the respondent.
The apex court is hearing a main petition challenging the reservation and also interim stay on post graduate medical admission process. The government did not give interim stay in this matter.
The SEBC 2018 was enacted to grant reservation to the people of the Maratha community in Maharashtra in education and jobs. The Bombay High Court upheld the law in June last year. However, it had ruled that the 16 per cent reservation was not justifiable and said that quota should not exceed 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in jobs.
The petitioners have challenged the Bombay High Court's decision. The petitioners submitted that the SEBC Act, 2018 breached the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation fixed by the apex court in its landmark judgment in the Mandal verdict.
Vinod Patil, who is the respondent in the case, told the Free Press Journal, “I sincerely appeal to the Maharashtra government to make all efforts so that the reservation passes the Supreme Court.’’ Cabinet sub-committee members, which had met last week, may meet with the legal team before July 27 to review the preparations.
June 2017: Maha Govt formed State Backward Class Commission to study the social, financial and educational status of Maratha community
November 2018: Commission submits report to Maha Govt
November 2018: Maharashtra Legislature passes a bill proposing 16% quota in education and government jobs for Maratha community
December 2018: Petitions filed in Bombay High Court against the quota decision
June 2019: HC upheld constitutional validity of reservation
July 2019: Petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the HC order
July 2020: SC refused to give interim order