State files plea in Supreme Court to vacate stay on Maratha quota
BL Soni

With the Maratha community stepping up its agitation across the state, the Maharashtra government, on Monday, filed an application in the Supreme Court with a plea to modify and vacate the interim order that stayed the 12 per cent reservation in education and 13 per cent in the government jobs for the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018. The government has urged the application to be heard by a five member bench.

Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan, who is the chairman of the cabinet sub committee on Maratha reservation, said, “The government has moved an application to vacate the interim stay. This is part of the legal procedure.” The government was targeted by pro-Maratha organisations and opposition parties after the three member bench gave an interim stay on the reservation.

State government sources told the Free Press Journal, “In today’s application, the government has argued that the three member bench upheld the government’s plea to transfer the petitions challenging the Maratha reservation to a Constitution Bench. But while doing so, the bench gave an interim stay that was quite surprising. The government has submitted that, as the bench had agreed to transfer the case to a Constitution Bench, it should decide whether or not the Maratha quota should be stayed.” Further, the government has also submitted that the argument did not even take place on how it provided the quota based on the state Backward Classes Commission’s report, which recommended that the government under ‘extraordinary and exceptional’ circumstances can provide quota. Thereafter, the government created a special category of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

Sources said the government, after taking the view of legal experts, will take a call on filing a review petition. Chavan said he met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who was accompanied by Jayant Patil, to discuss legal options and the future course of action to restore Maratha reservation and, thereby, give justice to the community.

Already Maratha Kranti Morcha coordinator Vinod Patil, on September 12, moved an application in the apex court to vacate the interim stay on the Maratha reservation.

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