Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday upheld the constitutional validity of reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and education.
A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre, however, said the quota percentage should be reduced from 16 per cent to 12 to 13 per cent, as recommended by the State Backward Classes Commission.
"We hold and declare that the state government possesses legislative competence to create a separate category of the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) and grant reservation," the court said.
"We, however, have held that the 16 per cent should be reduced to 12 to 13 per cent as recommended by the commission," the bench said.
The court was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging Maharashtra government's decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions.
On November 30, 2018, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for the Marathas, declared a socially and educationally backward class by the state government.
The reservation will be in addition to the existing 52 per cent overall reservation in the state. With the 16 per cent reservation for Marathas, the reservation quantum in the state was expected to rise to 68 per cent.
Several petitions were filed in the court challenging the reservation, while a few others were filed in its support.
The petitions challenging the quota decision had argued that it was violative of Supreme Court's orders which say that reservation in any state should not exceed more than 50 per cent.
The government, while defending its decision, had said that it was meant to alleviate the Maratha community, which it said was socially and economically backward.
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Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday expressed ‘pain and disgust’ over the political scenario of the state and blamed the BJP for stooping new low and setting ‘new benchmark of immoral politics’, ahead of the crucial trust vote in the assembly that is expected to take place on Monday.
In a press release the Chief Minister of the state added that the BJP has made a mockery of the democracy by ‘taking away several MLAs from the ruling coalition forcefully. He also cited TV footages that show BJP leaders accompanying the rebel MLAs to Mumbai in special aircrafts, adding that the BJP had switched to immoral politics to capture power in the state.
“T he BJP has been demanding that I must resign immediately and has even got the Raj Bhavan to set deadlines for putting the confidence motion into vote. I want to make it amply clear that I am not trying to cling onto power. My only intention of seeking time for debate on trust vote is to let the entire country know how the BJP, which talks of morality, is trying to subvert the very principles of democracy as well as Constitution” the press release added.
The JD(S) leader also appealed the disgruntled MLAs who have camped in Mumbai to come back and attend the legislature session to narrate in the assembly how they were forcefully taken away by the BJP.
“I request them to explain on the floor of the House how the BJP sabotaged democratic edifice and destroyed its sanctity” the press release read while also calling on the MLAs to ‘sit together and discuss’ all the issues including their problems to save the government which he termed as ‘democratically elected’ a claim opposed by the BJP.
“Let us strive together to save democracy and protect the spirit of Country’s Constitution from these evil forces who are willing to destroy any democratic and constitutionally established institutions for the sake of power” Kumaraswamy’s press release added.
Karnataka is expected to see another day of drama in the assembly on Monday as BS Yeddiyurappa led opposition demanding immediate trust vote.