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“Can’t Be Called Socially or Educatinally Backward”: Supreme Court Strikes Down Contentious Maratha Reservation

The Maratha reservation, which was set aside from the 27% reservation given to the OBC castes, violated the Supreme Court’s decision to keep the reservation limit to a maximum of 50%.

 

New Delhi| The Supreme Court has termed the reservation of the Maratha community in Maharashtra in government jobs and educational institutions as unconstitutional. This reservation was given on the basis of economic and social backwardness. The court, in its judgment on Wednesday, said that a decision that limits the 50% reservation need not be reconsidered. Maratha reservation violates the 50% limit.

The court made it clear that they cannot be called educationally and socially backward to give reservation to the people of the Maratha community. Also, while implementing the Maratha reservation, there was no constitutional basis for breaking the limit of 50%.

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The court said that there is no need to reconsider the verdict in the Indira Sawhney case. There was no emergency in Maharashtra that Maratha reservation was necessary. It also observed that till now the jobs and admissions received from the Maratha reservation will remain, but no further reservation will be given.

What is the whole matter?

In 2018, the Maharashtra government gave Maratha community 16% reservation in government jobs and higher education. The report on the Maharashtra Backward Classes Commission headed by Justice NG Gaikwad was made the basis. The Maratha reservation, which was set aside from the 27% reservation given to the OBC castes, violated the Supreme Court’s decision to keep the reservation limit to a maximum of 50%.

The High Court had maintained Maratha reservation

The Bombay High Court challenged this reservation on 2 main grounds. First- there is no proper basis behind it. It is given only for political gain. Secondly, it violates the Supreme Court judgment of Indira Sawhney vs. the Government of India given in 1992 to keep the total reservation up to 50%.

But, in June 2019, the High Court ruled in favor of this reservation. The court held that in exceptional circumstances a class can be given reservation. However, reservation was reduced to 13% in jobs and 12% in higher education.

Currently around 75% reservation in Maharashtra

Considering the reservation given to different communities and economically weaker people, Maharashtra has about 75% reservation. After the State Reservation Act of 2001, the total reservation in Maharashtra was 52%. With 12–13% Maratha quota, the total reservation in the state was reduced to 64–65%. The 10% quota for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) announced by the Center in 2019 is also effective in the state.

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