Maratha Reservation: Supreme Court decides final hearing on January 25

Amitha Muraleedharan

The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court decided to hear the challenge against the constitutionality of the Maharashtra Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, to declare quota to Marathas in jobs and education.

Earlier, the stay was passed by a three-judge bench, which referred to the appeal to a larger bench, and the larger bench refused to pass any order to dissolve the same matter.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta, and S Ravindra Bhat had referred the cases to a larger bench on November 9 to decide the issue that whether the State Government has the authority to decide a class as Socially and Economically Backward after the Constitution (102nd) amendment.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the State of Maharashtra, submitted that the appointment process can be continued since an application seeking the change of the order has been filed.

He stated due to the stay order, around 2185 appointments have been impeded.

But the bench replied that the Court has not to halt the government from making appointments, and the stay is only for the appointments under the quota.

The bench also issued notice to the Attorney General for India as the matter involves the interpretation of the 102nd amendment of the Constitution and directed the counsels to submit written submissions by the second week of January.

Earlier, the Bench challenged the Bombay High Court verdict passed in June 2019, and also said that the reservation violates the principles laid in the case of Indira Sawhney v. Union of India (1992).

The Bench also remarked that reservation should not exceed 12% in employment and 13% in education as recommended by the State Backward Commission.

The constitutional bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta, and S Ravindra Bhat was not inclined to consider the interim prayer for the vacation of stay and postponed the matter to be heard on January 25.

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