Maratha Quota Issue: Centre file Case in SC

The Government of India recently filed a review petition in the Supreme Court over its judgement on Maratha reservation in the State of Maharashtra. The Supreme Court had pronounced that the Maratha reservation under the Maharashtra law breaches the 50% ceiling of reservation. Thus, the apex court struck down the Maharashtra law.

What is the Central Government saying?

According to Government of India, only the Union Government has the power under the 102nd Constitutional Amendment to identify and list the socially and economically backward classes.

What is the State Government saying?

The population of the backward classes in Maharashtra constitutes to 85% of the state’s population. However, the reservation limit is only 50%. Thus, the socially and economically backward communities should be provided reservation.

102nd Constitutional Amendment

The amendment inserted Article 338B and Article 342A in the Constitution.

Article 338B: The amendment provided constitutional status to the National Backward Classes Commission.

Article 342A: It gives the President powers to notify backward classes.

Supreme Court Judgement

After the amendment was passed, several state governments filed cases in the Supreme Court. This was because, the State Government had lost its power to identify the backward classes under the amendment.

To this the Supreme Court interpreted the amendment in its verdict as follows:

  • Only the president is empowered to identify the Socially and Economically Backward Classes.
  • The States can only make recommendations.

What is the issue?

The recent striking of Maharashtra law contradicts the SC verdict pronounced earlier.

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