Maratha Reservation Row: Bombay HC Asks Petitioner To Await Hearing Till February 6 On Kunbi Caste Certificates

Maratha Reservation Row: Bombay HC Asks Petitioner To Await Hearing Till February 6 On Kunbi Caste Certificates

The CJ said that since the petitioner has waited since November last year, he could wait for a few more days.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 10:24 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File

Considering that the Kunbi caste certificates were being issued to Maratha community members since November 2023, the Bombay High Court said that the petitioner, who had challenged the Maharashtra government’s decision, could wait till next week for hearing in his petition.

The PIL by Mangesh Sasane

A PIL was filed by one Mangesh Sasane, chairman of 'OBC Welfare Foundation', stating that the government’s decision of granting Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community was “eating into” the reservation of the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Advocate Ashish Mishra, appearing for Sasane, mentioned the plea for urgent hearing before a bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor urging the court to grant an early date for the hearing.

Mishra said that the PIL challenged various government resolutions (GR) issued by the Maharashtra government since 2004. “The latest resolutions issued last year has eased out the process under which Kunbi caste certificates are granted to members from the Maratha community,” he said.

Kunbi certificates being issued since November 2023

The chief justice said that the PIL would be taken up for hearing when it is listed in a few days. On a court query since when the Kunbi certificates were being issued to the Maratha community members, Mishra replied that it was being issued since November 2023.

The CJ said that since the petitioner has waited since November last year, he could wait for a few more days. “You have waited since then. Can you not wait for a few more days? We will take it up. It (petition) will come up for hearing,” the CJ said.

As per the high court official website, the plea would be taken up for hearing on February 6.

Sasane’s plea challenges five GRs issued from 2004 permitting the Marathas to seek Kunbi caste certificates. Earlier the process/scrutiny before granting Kunbi certificates to Marathas was strict but with every agitation by the Maratha community members seeking quota, the process was diluted and made easier, the plea contends.

Justifying reservation for the Kunbi caste, the plea states that the community is a socially backward community that has been treated oppressively in the society.

Seeking quashing of all the GRs, including the January 27 draft notification, the plea urges the court to grant interim stay on the issuance of Kunbi caste certificates to the Maratha community members.  

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