Admissions to medical courses starting Thursday will include reservation for the Maratha community, with the Bombay High Court dismissing a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the state government’s ordinance.
What did the Bombay High Court rule on Thursday?
The Bombay High court Thursday dismissed a petition filed by a group of aspiring medical students challenging the constitutional validity of a June amendment to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act allowing Maratha reservation for 2019-2020 admissions to MBBS courses.
What happens next?
Following the dismissal of the petition challenging the constitutional validity of a new amendment to SEBC Act, the 12 per cent reservation for the Maratha community will be applicable in this year’s MBBS admissions starting from Thursday.
What were the various legal challenges to the Maratha reservation?
In May, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had held that the 16 per cent reservation granted to the Maratha community will not apply to postgraduate medical admissions this year, as the SEBC Act, 2018 — which effected the reservation — came into force after the admission procedure had already begun. The decision was further upheld by the Supreme Court, in a special leave petition filed by the Maharashtra government challenging the Nagpur bench decision.
Following this, 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 a retrospective effect on medical admissions in the state for the 2019-20 academic session. The ordinance was further made into an Act and notified on June 25.
Soon after the ordinance was notified, the High Court pronounced its judgment on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of SEBC Act. It said that 16 per cent reservation granted by the government is not “justifiable” and reduced it to 12 per cent for education and 13 per cent for public jobs, as recommended by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission.