The Supreme Court ruled that Maratha quota would not be applicable in jobs and admissions this year in an interim order on Wednesday. The court has referred the matter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) to constitute a larger bench for further hearing. The apex court was hearing petitions that challenged Maharashtra Law which provides reservations to Maratha in admissions and jobs. The petitions argued over the total quota which now exceeds the 50 per cent limit set by the top court.
The ruling has refused admissions on Maratha Quota this year, however, the three-judge bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat said that the admissions to the Post-Graduation courses will not be altered. The apex court’s ruling has caught a lot of political conflicts as BJP calls it a “black day” for the community targeting Maharashtra Government and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
In 2018, Maharashtra had passed a law – the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBA) Act which allowed 16% reservation to Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions. It was then challenged in Bombay High Court wherein the court had cut down on the quantum of quota referring it as ‘non-justifiable’. After the High Court’s order, the Maharashtra government then dropped down the Maratha reservation from 16 per cent to 12 per cent in educational institutions and 13 per cent in government jobs. The High Court’s decision was then challenged in Supreme Court where a non-profit organization, Youth for Equality said that the quota law was breaching the 50 per cent reservation fixed by the top court in the ‘Mandal Verdict’ (Indira Sawhney Case). The case has been sent ahead and now CJI SA Bobde will take a stand on constituting a larger bench for the hearing.