Several muslim organisations have told the Bombay High Court that the Maharashtra government’s decision to provide reservation for members of the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions violates Article 342A of the Constitution.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati H Dangre was hearing final arguments in four petitions challenging the state government’s notification published on November 30, 2018, to provide 16 per cent reservation to members of the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions.
Counsel S B Talekar, who was appearing in a petition filed by seven persons from various Muslim organisations, including Raza Academy, told the court that the November 30 notification violates Article 342A of the Constitution, which states that the state cannot just make the law — the inclusion of reservation has to be by presidential order.
The three other petitions were filed by advocates Jaishri Patil, Sanjeet Shukla and Dr Uday Dhople, along with others.
Earlier this month, Arvind Datar, senior counsel for petitioner Sanjeet Shukla, argued that in August 2018, Article 342A was inserted into the Constitution of India, according to which the state just cannot make the law, the inclusion of reservation has to be by presidential order. Article 342A states that the President may with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the socially and educationally backward classes.
“After this new insertion, if any communities have to be added in the reservation, it has to be under Article 342A,” said Datar.
Arguments are likely to continue Wednesday.