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Posted at: Jul 12, 2019, 1:07 PM; last updated: Jul 12, 2019, 6:26 PM (IST)

Can't implement Maratha reservation with retrospective effect: SC

Can't implement Maratha reservation with retrospective effect: SC
SC upheld the constitutional validity of the Maratha quota law.

Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service
Mumbai/New Delhi, July 12

The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Maharashtra government's response on pleas challenging a Bombay High Court order that upheld the grant of reservation to the Maratha community in education and jobs.
 
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not stay the Bombay High Court order upholding the constitutional validity of the Maratha quota law, but made it clear that the aspect allowing the reservation for Marathas with retrospective effect from 2014 would not be made operational.
The bench was hearing two appeals, including one filed by J Laxman Rao Patil challenging the high court order that upheld the constitutional validity of the quota for Marathas in education and government jobs in Maharashtra.
 
Legal options

The Supreme Court’s stay on the quota with retrospective effect has Maharashtra in a fix—sources say the state government will now have to consider their legal options.

The state government issued a notification for reservations under Social and Educational Backward Class (SEBC) from 2014 on Thursday. Under this, some 3,000 Marathas who cleared examinations for various state government jobs five years ago would have been issued appointment letters.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s government began recruitments in 2014. But with the Maratha quota being struck down, those hired under this category could not be made permanent employees.

“Those from the Maratha community who were hired on contract will now be made permanent. However contractual services of those hired under the general category may be terminated,” a state government official said.

After the stay on Maratha quota, the Maharashtra Government hired people on 11-month contracts, sources said.

The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government had first enacted an ordinance for 16 per cent reservation for Marathas before the state assembly elections in 2014, but it was stayed by the Bombay High Court.

Devendra Fadnavis’s government, which was elected in 2014, reintroduced reservations for the Marathas, this time under SEBC category. This passed the judicial scrutiny, although the original 16 per cent reservation had to be brought down to 13 per cent for government jobs and 12 per cent for educational institutions.

Meanwhile, sources say Maharashtra Government would soon announce a fresh recruitment drive to fill up vacancies in various offices. This process however will likely take a year to complete.

What Bombay HC had said 
 
The Bombay High Court, in its June 27 order, had said the 50 per cent cap on total reservations imposed by the Supreme Court could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances.
It had also accepted the Maharashtra government's argument that the Maratha community was socially and educationally backward, and it was duty-bound to take steps for its progress.
 
The Bombay HC’s decision to reduce the percentage of quota was based on a report by the State Backward Classes Commission. 
 
On November 30, 2018, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16 per cent reservation to Marathas.
 
The community, which accounts for roughly a third of Maharashtra's population, is politically dominant.
 
According to the 102nd amendment to the Constitution, reservation can be granted only if a particular community is named in the list prepared by the President.
 
The report submitted by the State Backward Classes Commission was based on quantifiable and contemporaneous data and was correct in classifying the Maratha community as socially and educationally backward, the high court had said in its verdict. with PTI
 

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