Bombay High Court is scheduled to hear a petition challenging Maharashtra government's decision to grant reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions. A bench headed by Justice BP Dharmadhikari will take up the plea filed by a Pune-based activist Hemant Patil against the quota provided to the Marathas.
In his plea, Patil said that the state already provides 52 per cent reservation to various castes and communities and if the ruling government will grant 16 per cent to the Marathas, it will defy the Supreme Court judgment. The top court had set an upper limit of 50 per cent caste-based reservations provided by state governments.
On November 18, the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced the his government has accepted the recommendations of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) on the socio-economic status of the Marathas and would grant them 16 per cent reservation under a new Socio-Economic Backward Class (SEBC) category.
“We have accepted the recommendations made by the MSBCC. We have decided to accord reservations to the Maratha community under a new SEBC category. The reservations to be granted to Marathas will be independent of the existing reservations for the OBC category,” the Maharashtra chief minister had said.
In November 2014, the Bombay High Court had stayed the then Congress-NCP government’s decision to grant 16 per cent quota to Marathas, saying that it was the breach of Supreme Court’s order.
The erstwhile government had also granted 16 per cent quota to Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions. The High Court is also likely to hear a batch of pending petitions filed between 2014 and 2015 on the Maratha quota issue. Two of they had sought immediate implementation of the quota.