However, the court cut down on the quantum of 16 per cent approved by the government on the grounds that it was not “justifiable”
MUMBAI — The Bombay High Court hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the Maharashtra government’s decision to grant 16% quota to the community in government jobs and educational institutions on Thursday upheld the reservation awarded to the Maratha community.
However, the court said the quota percentage should be reduced from 16% to 12% to 13% as recommended by the State Backward Classes Commission (SEBC).
Vijayalaxmi Khopade, a lawyer for one of the petitioners, said that a division bench of Justicei Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre also endorsed the report of the M.G. Gaikwad Commission classifying the Marathas as a socially and educationally backward class.
The court also said that the reservations given by Maharashtra government were based on justifiable data submitted by the Backward Class Commission, Khopade told IANS.
“We hold and declare that the state government possesses legislative competence to create a separate category of the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) and grant reservation,” the court said. “We, however, have held that the 16% should be reduced to 12% to 13% as recommended by the commission.”
The petitioners challenging the quota decision, however, claimed by granting reservation to the Maratha community, the government has given them permanent crutches which they will never be able to shed.
The government has destroyed the concept of equality by setting up a special category — Socially and Educationally Backward Class — for the Maratha community, the petitioners argued.
The ruling, hpwever, was greeted with cheers and celebrations among Marathas all over the state, giving a fillip to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine, barely four months before the assembly elections.
(With agency inputs)