Supreme Court to begin hearing in Maratha quota case today
Supreme Court to begin hearing in Maratha quota case today
BL Soni

The Supreme Court will begin the hearing on the Maratha reservation case shortly.

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, during the hearing on Maratha reservation, on March 8 had issued notices to all the state governments seeking their response on whether reservation could be allowed beyond the 50 percent limit.

The court had said that it will recommence the day-to-day hearing in the matter on March 15.

The case stems from the petitions by Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil of Mumbai and others, challenging the Bombay High Court decision to lower the percentage of a reservation granted to the Maratha community in government jobs and higher education.

While upholding the state law in June 2019, the Bombay High Court had held 16 percent reservation as unjustifiable and reduced it not to exceed 13 percent in higher education and 12 percent in employment, as recommended by the State Backward Classes Commission. The 102nd amendment to the Constitution stipulates that the reservation can be granted only if a particular community is named in the list prepared by the President.

The High Court had held that the 50 percent cap on the total reservation as imposed by the Supreme Court can be exceeded in an exceptional case, accepting the state government's stand that the Maratha community was socially and educationally backward, and it was duty-bound to take steps for its progress.

In July last year, the state government had committed to the court that it would not proceed with the recruitment process to fill up the vacancies on the basis of 12 percent Maratha reservation till September 15, except for departments, Public Health and Medical Education and Research.

The Supreme Court on September 9 last year, while referring to a larger bench the batch of pleas challenging the validity of the law, had stayed the implementation of the legislation but made it clear that the status of those who have availed of the benefits would not be disturbed.

(With inputs from agencies)

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