The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said it hoped that the Maratha community won’t resort to violence or take extreme steps such as suicide over its quota demand.
“We hope and trust that members of the community do not resort to violence or take extreme steps such as suicide,” said a division Bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai.
The Bench said they were reading daily reports of protesters committing suicide and was “very concerned”. “It is a serious matter and we are concerned about the situation. They must remember that human life is very valuable,” it added.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by social worker Vinod Patil, seeking directions to the state government to submit recommendations for providing quota to the Maratha community.
The Bench said the Backward Class Commission should complete its task “as expeditiously as possible considering the sensitivity of the issue”. The HC posted the matter on September 10 and asked the state government to file an affidavit on the status of the report by the commission.
Senior counsel Ravi Kadam, representing the state government, said the commission had completed the task of collection of data from government agencies, village panchayats and educational institutes. “The community must remember the government can’t do anything hurriedly. Unless it has the commission’s recommendations, the government can’t take any decision,” he said.
An affidavit was filed by Dinesh Waghmare, Secretary, Social Justice Department, which stated that at a meeting of the commission on November 29, 2017, it was decided to conduct a sample survey about the social and educational backwardness of the community. It was also decided to seek information from all universities in the state on students enrolled for graduate and postgraduate courses in professional colleges, and from the Maharashtra Public Service Commission about Maratha community candidates selected for different posts by the MPSC in the last three years.
The affidavit also stated that at another meeting of the commission on February 9, 2018, it was decided to conduct a survey by appointing agencies/institutions strictly under the supervision of committee members. The commission had constituted a panel of experts to analyse the data, which commenced work from August 5, it added.
The affidavit stated, “Considering the voluminous data, information received and the opinions of experts, and considering the constitutional provisions, as well as various judgments of the apex court and the High Court, the commission will require about three months to complete its final report and submit it to the state government by November 15.”