Maratha quota valid but should be reduced: Bombay HC

Bombay High Court (HC) upheld the reservation for Maratha community in government jobs and education constitutional valid but suggested to reduce the quota percentage from present 16% to 12-13%.

Key Highlights of Judgment

The reduced quota limit suggested by Bombay HC is as recommended by State Backward Classes Commission.

Legislative Competence: As per HC, state government possesses legislative competence to create a separate category of Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) and grant reservation.

The court was hearing petitions challenging Maharashtra government’s decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions.

Background

On 30 November 2018, following the state wide agitations by Maratha Community, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16% reservation in education and government jobs for Marathas.  Maratha Community was also declared a socially and educationally backward class by government.

The government defended its decision by stating that quota was meant to alleviate Maratha community, which was socially and economically backward.

Petition:

HC gave the judgment upon hearing a bunch of petitions which challenged Maharashtra government’s quota decision of granting 16% reservation to Marathas.

The petitions argued that reservation provided violates the Supreme Court’s orders which states that reservation in any state should not exceed more than 50% per cent.

However, reservation to Marathas will be in addition to the existing 52% overall reservation in state and with additional 16% reservation, reservation quantum in state was expected to rise to 68%.

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