Day-to-Day Hearing on the Maharashtra Maratha Reservation Case in SC from July 27

Published: July 15, 2020

The Supreme Court has decided to commence day-to-day hearing of the Maratha Reservation Case, from July 27. The petition is regarding the constitutional validity of legislation passed by the Maharashtra government, granting reservation rights to the Maratha community in the state in various educational institutions and also in government jobs.

This decision has been taken keeping in mind the prevailing situation due to COVID 19 and very remote chances of starting with physical hearing anytime soon. The apex court has directed the lawyers representing both the sides to coordinate among themselves regarding the schedule etc. But it has refused to grant any interim stay on the implementation of the quota, as of now.

Background of the Martha Reservation Case

The Maharashtra Government promulgated an ordinance in 2014 granting 16% reservation to the Maratha community in education and public employment opportunities. However, the Bombay High Court stayed its implementation through an interim order. This order was also challenged before the SC which dismissed it in no time.

Then, the state government enacted the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2014. This took into consideration the Marathas also and a total of 16% reservation was granted to the socially and economically backward communities. This act also faced the legal hurdle when the Bombay HC stayed its implementation as well.

The Maharashtra Government established the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission in 2017 and it recommended 12% and 13% reservation for the Marathas in educational institutions and appointments in public services, respectively. On the basis of this, Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 came into existence for putting the recommendations into practice. This act was also challenged before the Bombay HC which upheld the constitutional validity of the legislation. However, it reduced the reservation from 16% to 12% and 13% respectively, as recommended by the Commission. This was challenged at the Supreme Court and the final hearing will start from July 27 on a daily basis, before the bench comprising of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Deepak Gupta.

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