Martha Quote Cut Down from 16 percent, Bombay High Court Confirms

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The Maharashtra Government has been asked by the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench to decide whether the benefit of 10 percent reservation under the Economically Weaker Section category is applicable to those who avail benefits under the now-stayed Maratha Reservations.

However, the reservation percentage has been decreased from 16 percent to some 12 percent, on the grounds that it was not justifiable.

The verdict was passed by a division bench compromising of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre, for a petition which claimed that the Maharashtra Government’s decision amounted to providing the Maratha community with ‘permanent crutches’. The petitioners also claimed that it would violate the cap of 50 percent fixed on reservations by the Supreme Court.

“We hold and declare that the state government possesses legislative competence to create a separate category of the Socially and Educationally Backward Class and grant reservation,” said the Court.

However, the decision made by the bench ordered the Maharashtra government to reduce the percentage from 16 percent to 12 percent as per the State Backward Classes Commission’s recommendation.

A bench of J. SV Gangapurwala and Justice SD Kulkarni asked the government to file an affidavit while hearing the petitions which were filed by three job aspirants who were contesting for the post of Revenue Officer, under the SERB category.

The petitioners, namely Sheetal Zirpe, Varsha Akat, and Vikram Warpe, in their petitions, pointed out to the High Court that the Supreme Court has stayed the reservation given to the Maratha community and hence, they should be considered under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category.

However, their appointments were kept in abeyance by the state government after the Supreme Court in September this year stayed implementation of the Maratha community reservation. On November 30, 2018, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16 percent reservation in education and government jobs to the Marathas, declared as a socially and educationally backward class by the state government.

The decision was challenged in the Bombay High Court, which in June 2019.

The Members of the Maratha community were seen celebrating the Supreme Court, and the court has ordered the Police to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand.

However, the court has ordered the government to cut down the percentage from 16 to 12 percent on Tuesday.


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