The Bombay High Court Wednesday refused to hear a petition against the decision of the Maharashtra government to provide 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutions. “Not before me,” said Justice V M Kanade sitting in a division bench with Justice Swapna Joshi when the PIL, filed by the activist Ketan Tirodkar, and an application filed by Vinod Patil seeking expeditious hearing, came up.
Justice Kanade did not give any reason for recusing himself.
In December 2014, the HC had stayed the decision to grant reservation in response to PILs filed by Tirodkar and others. The stay is still in operation.
Tirodkar’s PIL contended that the decision to term the Maratha community as socially and educationally backward is a “fraud” committed upon the country and its Constitution.
The Congress-NCP government in 2014 had announced reservation for Marathas, a politically dominant community. It had also provided five per cent reservations for Muslims.
The PIL has only challenged the reservation for Marathas.
75 per cent or more land in the state is owned by the Maratha community and between 1962 and 2004, over 1200 out of the over 2000 MLAs were Marathas, and more than 72 per cent of the cooperative institutions are controlled by the people belonging to the community, it said.