New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to give a stay on the Maratha quota and sought a response from the Maharashtra government on a plea challenging the reservation given in jobs and education to Marathas.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also stayed the retrospective effect on the reservation granted by the Bombay High Court.
And the reservation will be subject to the final outcome of the appeal pending before the apex court. The court has issued notice returnable in two weeks for the parties to file more documents.
This observation by the court came as it agreed to hear an appeal for quashing the reservation for Maratha for admission in educational institutions and government jobs and issues notice to the Maharashtra government.
Earlier, the top court had agreed to hear a petition challenging the Bombay High Court judgment, allowing reservations for Marathas in jobs and educational institution. The matter will come up for hearing on Friday.
The Bombay High Court in June upheld the validity of reservations in education and government jobs granted to the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category but reduced the quantum from 16 per cent.
Bringing down the quota from the proposed 16 per cent to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in jobs, it observed that the higher quota was “not justifiable”.
A Division Bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre also said that the government was entitled to create a separate category for SEBCs and grant them reservations.
The verdict came on a bunch of petitions challenging the state government’s November 2018 decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community under the SEBC category.
In his initial reaction, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the court verdict and indicated that the new quota percentages recommended were acceptable to the government.
Vijayalaxmi Khopade, the lawyer for one of the petitioners, said the court also endorsed the report of the nine-member M.G. Gaikwad Commission classifying the Marathas as a “Socially and Educationally Backward Class”.
The judges said the reservations proposed by the Maharashtra government were based on justifiable data submitted by the Backward Class Commission, Khopade had told IANS.