Reservation Case: 'Maratha Mainstream, Dominant In Politics,' Petitioners Tell High Court

Reservation Case: 'Maratha Mainstream, Dominant In Politics,' Petitioners Tell High Court

Pointing out the latest report, Sankaranarayana said that the data is the same and hence there is no justification in granting reservation

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, April 11, 2024, 01:11 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

Members of the Maratha community have been in the mainstream of the ety and are dominant in politics, hence, they do not need any reservations. This was argued on Wednesday by one of the petitioners before a three-judge bench of the Bombay High Court while opposing the 10% reservation to the community.

The law passed on February 20 by the Maharashtra legislature granted 10% reservation to the community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category in government jobs and education. The governor’s notification was issued on February 26.

Bench Hear Batch Of Petition

A full bench comprising Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla commenced hearing a batch of petitions challenging the reservations. A few petitions have been filed supporting the reservations.

Senior counsel Gopal Sankaranarayana pointed out to the bench that this was the third round of litigation after the state granted reservation to the Marathas. On earlier two occasions, the Supreme Court had stayed the effect of the reservations at the interim stage and subsequently quashed the same.

Apex Court Quash Reservation For Second Time

Referring to the SC judgment of May 5, 2021, by which the apex court quashed the reservation for the second time, the petitioners contended that there has been no change in the status of Marathas to merit reservation. “Unfortunately, every time we (petitioners) have to come to court because the government wants to placate a particular community which is very powerful,” Sankaranarayana said.

Giving a brief history of the “fairly chequered history” of the Maratha reservation, Sankaranarayana pointed out that since 1893, the British and several commissions have said that the community is not backward. “They have repeatedly said that the Marathas are a forward community. First the British, then the Kalelkar Commission in 1955, Deshmukh Commission in 1962, Mandal Commission in 1979/80, Khatrai Commission and even Bapat Commission in 2008,” he said.

Narayan Rane Commission2014

It was only in 2014 that the Narayan Rane Commission, which was not a statutory commission, concluded that Maratha and the Muslims socially and educationally backward and require reservation. The same was repeated by the Gaikwad Commission. However, reservations granted to Marathas based on these commissions’ recommendations were quashed by the SC.

Reservation Same In The Latest Report, Points Out Snakaranarayana

Pointing out the latest report, Sankaranarayana said that the data is the same and hence there is no justification for granting servation. “reservation same. Unless some mysterious collapse has taken place in the last 36 months [since the May 2021 judgment of SC] that requires its reservatio , there is no reason for granting reservation,” Sankaranarayana added.

Pointing out the example of Haryana, he said that the government there granted reservation to the Jat community, which was struck down by the SC. “Haryana never visited the issue. However, Maharashtra revisited the issues again and again,” Sankaranarayana emphasised.

The HC will continue to hear the matters on April 15.

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