A group of aspiring medical students have approached the Bombay High Court challenging the constitutional validity of a new amendment to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act providing reservation to the Maratha community in admissions to MBBS courses.
A division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Gautam Patel on Wednesday heard arguments of senior counsel M M Vashi for the petitioner and adjourned the case till Thursday.
The petition, filed through Pan India Legal earlier this week by four undergraduate medical students, challenges the constitutional validity of amendment to the SEBC Act, notified on June 25, 2019, by which reservation will be applied to undergraduate medical and dental courses for the academic year 2019-20 with retrospective effect.
On May 20, Maharashtra Governor promulgated an ordinance approving 16 per cent reservation for Maratha community in various government jobs and educational institutes. This had retrospective effect on medical admissions in the state for 2019-20 academic session. The ordinance was further made into an Act and notified on June 25.
In the petition, the students stated that new amendment takes away the fundamental rights and prohibits the candidates from approaching the judiciary for any redressal against the medical process.
Last month, upholding the reservation, a bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati H Dangre of the Bombay High Court said that the 16 per cent reservation granted by the government is not “justifiable and resultantly we quash and set aside the quantum of reservation” and reduce it to12 per cent for education and 13 per cent for public jobs, as recommended by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission.