Mumbai: The Maharashtra government Tuesday submitted to the Bombay high court a progress report on the state backward classes commission’s ongoing work to determine the social, economic, and educational status of the Maratha community.
The government’s social justice department told the HC that the commission’s final report will be submitted by 15 November, 2018.
On 7 August, the HC had asked the state government to ensure that the commission submits a progress report by mid-September and the final report by 15 November.
Maratha activist Vinod Patil has filed a petition in the HC seeking a time-bound programme from the state government on giving quota to the Marathas.
Last year, the Maharashtra government had asked the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes to determine the community’s status and if it merited reservations in education and government jobs.
In an affidavit filed on Tuesday, Dinesh Dingle, joint secretary of the social justice department, said a three-member panel of experts constituted by the state government had completed the classification and scientific analysis of the representations received by the commission during the public hearings. The affidavit states that the five independent agencies appointed by the commission had completed a sample survey covering 45,000 Maratha families and compiled information about the social, economic, and educational status of these families.
The commission has also received information from the Maharashtra government about the representation of the Marathas in the state government employment, the affidavit adds. “The commission has already commenced its preliminary work to study the historical aspect and also the study of legal provisions as well as reports/opinion received from experts on the issue of reservation," the government said in the affidavit.
The affidavit also broadly refers to the cap laid down by the Supreme Court that reservations in a state should not exceed 50% of the total seats available. “The commission will consider experts’ opinion, documentary and oral evidence, sample survey, and the legal aspect in the matter including the Constitutional provision as well as the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court and High Courts on the issue of social, economic, and educational backwardness of the Maratha community and make all efforts to complete the task of submitting the final report to the state government by November 15," the affidavit said.
Last month, various Maratha groups protesting in different parts of Maharashtra for quota suspended their agitation pending the case in the HC and the state government’s promise that the quota would be provided by the end of November this year.