Maratha Quota: Supreme Court to hear plea challenging Bombay High Court order on Friday

Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Friday (July 12) will hear the petition challenging the verdict of the Bombay High Court upholding the constitutional validity of the socially and educationally backward class (SEBC) law, which guarantees reservation to Marathas in public service and education.

The petition by advocate Sanjeet Shukla was mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday. The bench agreed to take it up for hearing on Friday.

The petitioner, Shukla contends that the HC bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre misread the Indra Sawhney ruling of the apex court that held no state can exceed the 50 per cent limit while granting reservation to any community.

“The HC misread the said ruling and concluded that no stringent ceiling limit of 50 per cent reservations has been prescribed by the apex court.

Further, in total ignorance of the relevant constitutional provisions, the HC also held 102nd constitutional amendment does not curtail the powers of the Maharashtra Government in granting reservation,” the petition reads. In his plea, Shukla has highlighted four glaring mistakes in the HC verdict.

“The four key aspects to this case that the HC missed are – the Indra Sawhney ruling, which prescribed a strict 50 per cent limit on reservations; the 102nd constitutional amendment, which gives exclusive powers to the President to grant reservations,” the plea states, adding,

“The Maharashtra Government has enacted the SEBC law under political pressure, completely disregarding the principles of equality and rule of law; the SEBC law violates the April 2015 orders of the HC, which struck down the earlier decision of quota to Marathas.”

Shukla has further highlighted the fact that of the total 17 chief ministers of Maharashtra since 1956, 12 were Marathas and 55 per cent of state assembly members to date belong to the community.

He has further argued the Maharashtra Government has made a mockery of the rule of law, as it has used its constitutional powers “arbitrarily and purely for political gains.”

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