New Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Maharashtra government on pleas challenging the Bombay high court order that upheld reservation for the Maratha community in the state.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not stay the order of the Bombay high court which upheld the constitutional validity of the state government law giving quota in education and jobs to the Maratha community.
The court also made it clear that the state cannot implement the Maratha reservation, retrospectively. Thus, the Maharashtra government's order applying the reservation retrospectively from 2014 will be subject to the outcome of the case in the Supreme Court.
The Bombay high court on 27 June upheld a state government law giving quota in education and jobs to the Maratha community. The high court, however, curtailed the quantum of quota from 16% to 12% in education and 13% in jobs.
Upholding the legality of the state government law passed unanimously by both houses of the state legislature in November 2018, the high court bench comprising Justice Bharti Dangre and Justice Ranjit More had also ruled that a state government was well within its rights to raise the quantum of quota beyond the Supreme Court-mandated 50% under “extraordinary and exceptional circumstances".
The HC had rejected all petitions challenging the quota and the state government law, paving the way for admission to educational institutes, including professional courses and government recruitment, where the Maratha community candidates could avail the benefit.
In November last year, both the houses of the state legislature unanimously passed the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the State and for appointments in the public services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018.