The state government on Saturday took the decision to appeal in Supreme Court next week against the Bombay High Court’s decision against reservation to Maratha community in education and public services. The government will also appeal against HC order not to consider reservation to Muslims in public services.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “ The government has set up a sub-committee to look into all aspects related to the legal hurdles that come in the way retaining the reservation for Marathas.”
Fadnavis has convened a meeting of cabinet ministers and leaders of all political parties to discuss the Maratha reservation. A senior cabinet minister told Indian Express, “ We will challenge the high court order in supreme court on the grounds that Maratha reservation bill is pending before the state legislature assembly. So, can the high court give an order against the issue which is pending before the legislature.”
Sources cited that advocate general Darius Khambata who was called for the meeting pointed that, “ For any state government to exceed the reservation beyond 50% required quantifiable data and exceptional circumstances.” Maharashtra already has 51 per cent reservation for scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and OBCs.
Sources revealed, “ The flaws in Narayan Rane committee on Maratha reservation which was the basis for the reservation were also highlighted during the meeting.” The chief minister who summed up the meeting asserted, “ There should be no ambiguity about government’s commitment to the reservation for Maratha community. And that we would certainly stand by the Rane committee report. What ever lacunas that come to our notice would be corrected to ensure it withstands legal and constitutional trial.” Fadnavis made it clear, “ There was no question of abandoning Rane committee report.” However, legal experts observed, “ There were some gaps. More material and scientific study to substantiate Rane committee report would be required.”
All the political leaders representing Congress, Shiv Sena and Shiv Sangram, Republican Party of India supported Maratha reservation. The NCP skipped the meeting.
Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote said, “ The Congress-NCP government had delayed the Maratha reservation citing they wanted to make it full proof so that it does not get challenged in court. However, it shows Rane committee report was not full proof. It also exposes the Congress-NCP’s hollow promises and that it was pushed for vote bank.” Sena leader said, “ Now, we should not rush the act. Instead, government should bring all necessary amendments to make it flawless.”
Shiv Sangram leader Vinayak Mete said, “ The government should pursue the matter in apex court and we would support them.”
The RPI chief Ramdas Athavale said, “ While it is true that Marathas are a dominant ruling and rich community, the reservation would be given to those economically amongst the community. So it is justified.”