Maratha quota bill may be challenged in courts

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Mumbai | Published: November 29, 2018 11:11:34 PM

Legal experts and political observers opined Thursday that the BJP-led Maharashtra government should be prepared to fight a legal battle over its decision to grant quota to the Maratha community.

Maratha quota bill may be challenged in courts

Legal experts and political observers opined Thursday that the BJP-led Maharashtra government should be prepared to fight a legal battle over its decision to grant quota to the Maratha community. The Maharashtra legislature on Thursday passed a bill giving 16 per cent quota to the Marathas in educatinal institutes and government jobs.

The provision will be contrary to the Supreme Court’s directives in Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, where the court imposed a ceiling of 50 per cent on overall reservations, said Ulhas Bapat, an expert in constitutional law. “The bill has taken the total quantum of quota to 68
per cent, significantly above the SC’s cap of 50 per cent. If it is challenged, the state will have to submit a detailed report backing its decision,” he said.

“The sad part is the bill was passed without any discussion in both the houses,” he said. He also expressed surprise that the government refused to release the report submitted by the State Backward Class Commission on social and economic backwardness of the Maratha community.

Read Also| ATR on Maratha quota recommendations to be tabled in House, says CM Devendra Fadnavis

Hari Narke, a writer and political observer, said, “If the Maharashtra government’s proposal to include Marathas into the category of backward communities is accepted by the Centre, they will be part of OBCs at the Central level, and it could create unrest among existing OBCs.”

Social thinker and writer Sadanand More said the Maratha community had not demanded any political reservation. “They needed quota in education and government jobs and the state has given it to them,” he said.

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