Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Supreme Court refers Maratha Reservation matter to larger bench, no Maratha quota in jobs and admissions

The Supreme Court today referred to a larger Bench a batch of petitions challenging the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, which provides for reservation in employment and education to the Maratha community.

The Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat has held that in the meanwhile, there will be no such reservation in jobs and admissions.

The Court has further ruled that admissions to postgraduate courses will not be altered. The matter will now be placed for Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, who will constitute a larger bench.

The Bench had heard the parties on the question of reference of the matter to an 11-Judge Constitution Bench on the issue of 50% cap on reservations.

Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi, representing the State of Maharashtra, and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing an applicant, urged the Court to refer the issue of the 50% ceiling on reservation to a larger Bench.

The SEBC Act provides for reservation for the Maratha community in the State of Maharashtra. The decision of the Bombay High Court upholding the law with modifications was challenged before the Supreme Court. One of primary grounds for challenge was that this law, if implemented, would breach the 50% upper ceiling put in place for reservations.

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