THE BOMBAY High Court on Wednesday commenced the final hearing into petitions challenging the state government’s decision to provide 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community.
Senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for one of the petitioners, argued that reservation above 50 per cent was certainly not for “most prosperous” state like Maharashtra.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati H Dangre were hearing final arguments into three petitions filed by advocates Jaishri Patil and Sanjeet Shukla and Dr Uday Dhople along with many others.
Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte, appearing for petitioner Patil, argued that the state government’s decision to provide reservation was “politically motivated”. There were several reports on the reservation, but they were not tabled in the house except for the state’s Backward Class Commission report.
He further argued that there were several judgments by the Supreme Court and the High Court in different states and in Mumbai, according to which reservation should not exceed 50 per cent. The state government had, without following orders, passed a law granting reservation to Marathas due to which the reservation stood at 78 per cent.
Datar, appearing for petitioner Shukla, argued that the state government lacked the legislative powers to pass such a bill. He further said the SC in ‘Indra Sawhney and Others vs Union of India’, held that 50 per cent reservation ceiling could not be exceeded except in extraordinary situations in far-flung and remote areas and if a special case is made out.
Sadavarte further argued that the Backward Class Commission report stated that many Maratha farmers had committed suicide, but the figures were much lower than farmers of other castes who had committed suicide.