The politically influential Maratha community, which has been provided 12% quota in education and 13% in jobs under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, will not be entitled to the 10% reservation granted by the Central law for the Economically Weaker Sections (EBC) in Maharashtra. The state government has issued a notification making it clear that the Maratha community will not get a quota under the EBC category in state government jobs. However, they will be entitled to reservation in Central government civil services and posts.
The government has already appointed tehsildars as the competent authority to issue eligibility certificates for those under the EBC category. It is binding on the tehsildar to thoroughly scrutinise whether the candidate is eligible for reservation in the existing categories. This is necessary so that only genuine candidates can avail of the 10% quota under the EBC category.
However, the government had received several complaints of eligibility certificates being issued even to those who were already getting quota under other categories. There were also complaints that such certificates were granted to Marathas already covered under the SEBC Act, 2018.
The government’s decision is crucial, at a time when the Maratha quota is yet to pass the Supreme Court test. The apex court, on July 27, had postponed the final hearing on petitions on Maratha quota to September 1. It is also yet to decide cases pertaining to the 10% quota for EBC.
The government notification has made it clear that a candidate's eligibility certificate for 10% EBC quota in Central services cannot be used for recruitment. The government’s move is important, considering that petitioners had argued in the SC that the court needs to consider the validity of 10% quota for EWS simultaneously with the 12% Maratha quota in education if the 50% ceiling on reservation is violated.