The Maharashtra government on Friday moved the Supreme Court defending its decision to have 16% reservations for the dominant Maratha community in the state for education and employment benefits.
The state government has appealed against the Bombay high court ruling that had stayed the operation of the quota benefit. The court was of the view that the community did not deserve reservations and moreover, the quota was in excess of the maximum 50% reservation ceiling fixed by the top court in 2006.
Advocate general Mukul Rohatgi and senior counsel PP Rao will appear on December 18, when the matter will be heard in SC.
The state reservation policy was against the state backward commission's suggestion that the Maratha community was progressive and did not deserve reservation. However, the state government appointed another committee under the chairmanship of the state industry minister, which subsequently recommended 16% reservation to the Marathas.
The state government said it had collected information about the Maratha community's representation in government service and educational institution. The decision to provide reservation was taken only after collecting the quantifiable data and a thorough study. The Marathas were categorised as educationally and socially backward category (ESBC).
An ordinance was passed on July 9, 2014 and the quota was brought to effect. However, this was challenged by several individuals in the Bombay high court on the grounds that it was a politically motivated decision which was taken in an arbitrary manner.