Maratha reservation: Uddhav govt moves Supreme Court seeking vacation of its stay order


New Delhi: The Maharashtra government on Monday (September 21) filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking vacation of its stay on the reservation to the people of the Maratha community in education and jobs in the state. An official statement said that the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s move comes amidst protests by various pro-quota Maratha bodies in the state.

Maharashtra Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai on Monday over the Maratha reservation. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, he said “A petition has to be filed in Supreme Court for vacating its interim order (on Maratha reservation). The Chief Minister has discussed the matter with senior leaders.” 

PWD Minister Ashok Chavan said that the application was filed on Monday morning and added the counsels representing the government will try to see that the hearing on the application takes place soon.

Asked about the protest by Marathas, Chavan said, “..It is a judicial process. We will have to find a solution through the judicial process only. Hence, the government has filed the application before the Supreme Court following the process”.

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Ashok Chavan, who heads the state cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray might make a detailed statement on issues such as admissions, jobs etc. Concerning the Maratha community in a day or two, adding “Our senior counsels will try to see that the hearing (on the vacation application) takes place soon.” 

Earlier in the day, Chavan met NCP president Sharad Pawar and held a discussion about the steps the MVA dispensation is planning to take in view of the stay order.

Earlier this month, the apex court had directed that no quota will be granted to people of the Maratha community in education and jobs in the state this year and referred the hearing on a batch of plea challenging the constitutional validity of a Maharashtra law granting Maratha reservation in education and jobs to a larger bench.

The bench held that no Maratha quota will be granted for jobs and admissions for the session 2020-21 and said that admissions to postgraduate courses in the state will not be altered.

The SC had said the status of those who have already taken benefits of the 2018 law shall not be disturbed.

The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 was enacted to grant reservation to people of the Maratha community in Maharashtra in jobs and admissions.

The Bombay High Court, while upholding the law in June last year, held that 16 percent reservation was not justifiable, and said quota should not exceed 12 percent in employment and 13 percent in admissions. 

The bench was hearing two appeals, including one filed by J Laxman Rao Patil challenging the Bombay High Court order that upheld the constitutional validity of the quota for the Maratha community in education and government jobs in the state.

The Bombay High Court had on June 27, 2019, observed that the 50 percent cap on total reservations imposed by the Supreme Court could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances.

(With Agency Inputs)

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