SC declines to stay Maratha quota, seeks Maharashtra govt’s response on plea against HC orderhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/maratha-quota-supreme-court-denies-retrospective-effect-refuses-to-stay-bombay-hc-order-5826314/

SC declines to stay Maratha quota, seeks Maharashtra govt’s response on plea against HC order

Earlier, while justifying giving the quota a retrsopective effect, the Devendra Fadnavis led state government argued that the ordinance granting 16 per cent reservation to the Marathas had originally been issued on July 9, 2014 by the previous Congress-NCP regime.

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The politically influential Maratha community accounts for 33 per cent of the state’s population. (Source: File photo)

The Supreme Court Friday sought response of the Maharashtra government on a plea challenging grant of reservation to the Maratha community in education and jobs in the state. Refusing to stay the June 27 Bombay High Court order which had upheld the validity of reservation granted to the Maratha community by the Maharashtra government, the SC Bench led by Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi clarified that the reservation will not have retrospective effect.

The SC order comes a day after a government resolution (GR) issued by the Maharashtra chief minister-led general administration department stated that the reservation will be applied from 2014.

Earlier, while justifying giving quota with retrsopective effect, the Devendra Fadnavis led state government argued that the ordinance granting 16 per cent reservation to the Marathas had originally been issued on July 9, 2014 by the previous Congress-NCP regime. But on November 14, 2014, the HC, which was hearing a petition against this ordinance, had stayed it.

The Bombay High Court had upheld the Maharashtra State Reservation (of Seats for Admission in Educational Institutions in the State and for Appointments to the Posts in the Public Services under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Category (SEBC) Act, 2018 (SEBC Act) as constitutional. However, the court ruled that the 16 per cent quota granted by the state is not “justifiable” and reduced it to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in government jobs, as recommended by Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC).

“We hold and declare that the limit of reservation should not exceed 50 per cent. However, in exceptional circumstances and extraordinary situations, this limit can be crossed subject to availability of quantifiable and contemporaneous data reflecting backwardness, inadequacy of representation and without affecting the efficiency in administration,” the High Court had said.