Bombay High Court Current Affairs - 2019

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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%.

Maharashtra: Governor promulgates Ordinance for Medical Admission Reservation

Maharashtra Governor V. Rao has promulgated an ordinance to provide reservation benefits in admissions to Social and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) in medical education in state.

Key Points of Ordinance

  • Reason: In May 2019 the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has put a stay on the 16% quota offered by state to its Maratha community under SEBC category for admission in 2019’s postgraduate medical courses. The HC ruled that implementation of this reservation for Maratha community under SEBC quota was “unconstitutional” and thus will not be applicable to post-graduate medical admission process which had already begun. This cancelled admissions already given to students under Maratha quota and necessitated fresh admissions.
  • Thus the Maharashtra State Reservation for SEBC Amendment and Validation Ordinance, 2019, makes way for 16% reservation for students from Maratha community in current academic year itself. It provides reservation of seats for admission in educational institutions of state and appointments in public posts and services under state.
  • The ordinance promulgated thus upholds admissions given to students under Maratha quota under SEBC category in postgraduate medical and dental courses.
  • Courses: The reservation to students will be provided in admissions in field of medical education which includes medical and dental under-graduate and post graduate courses under SEBC category.
  • Covers: The ordinance will provide reservations in favour of candidates belonging to SEBC classes for courses commencing from educational year 2019-20. It will also be applicable for admissions to other educational courses including under-graduate courses requiring passing of NEET or any other National Entrance Test.
  • Article 213: The Governor of an Indian state draws ordinance making power from Article 213 of Indian Constitution. This article empowers governor to promulgate ordinance on an urgent matter and such ordinance shall have same force and effect as an Act of Legislature of the State.