The Maharashtra government on Monday filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking vacation of the apex court’s stay on implementation of Maratha quota in jobs and education.
The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s move comes amid protests by various pro-quota Maratha bodies in the state.
In its plea, the state government submitted that Maratha reservation cannot be stayed by a three-member bench through an interim order. The SC has already referred the matter to a larger constitutional bench of five judges, it added.
The plea maintained that the critical aspect of 50 per cent ceiling on reservation was not discussed before the SC. It added that in Maharashtra, as 50 per cent of quota is already availed by backward classes, the Marathas were provided reservation above that.
The reservation was necessitated as the community was living under pathetic conditions, based on parameters like social, economical and educational backwardness, the government said.
State PWD Minister Ashok Chavan told mediapersons that the application was filed on Monday morning. “Our senior counsels will try to see that the hearing (on the vacation application) takes place soon,” he added.
Asked about the protest by Marathas, Chavan said, “…It is a judicial process. We will have to find a solution through the judicial process only. Hence, the government has filed the application before the Supreme Court following due process.”
The senior Congress leader, who heads the state Cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray might make a detailed statement on issues such as admissions and jobs concerning the Maratha community in a day or two.
Earlier in the day, Chavan met NCP president Sharad Pawar and held discussion about the steps the MVA dispensation is planning to take in view of the stay order. “I held discussions with Sharad Pawar saheb. I appraised him about decision on Maratha reservation,” he said. Chavan also held another meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and senior Cabinet ministers.
The a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court had earlier this month stayed the implementation of the 2018 law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs in Maharashtra, but made it clear that the status of those who have availed of the benefits will not be disturbed. The bench had referred to a larger constitution bench the batch of pleas challenging the validity of the law granting reservation to Marathas.
Over last 10 days, Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) had been organising street agitation to protest against the stay order. The MKM leaders have threatened to intensify the agitation if the reservation was not restored.
Welcoming the government decision to challenge the stay order in SC, a MKM leader said: “The matter should be resolved soon in favour of the quota.”
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