Mumbai: The Bombay High Court, on Thursday, upheld the Maratha reservation given by Maharashtra government. A bunch of petitions had challenged its constitutional validity of the quota. The state legislature had, on November 30 last year, passed a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation for the Maratha community under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category.
The state government’s decision was challenged by a bunch of petitions claiming that the quota violated the basic principle of limiting reservations to 50 per cent. On February 6, a division bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre commenced the hearing on the petitions that closed in April this year. The state government has defended its decision saying that the reservation was given to the Maratha community for its upliftment.
The petitions, however, argued that the state government, by setting up a special category — Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) — has destroyed the concept of equality. The petitions also argued that by virtue of belonging to the same caste as Kunbis, another community in the states, Marathas should be included in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category under which Kunbis have been given reservation.
In what was viewed as a political victory for CM Devendra Fadnavis, the BJP-ruled government had agreed to create a quota for the Maratha community following prolonged agitations.