The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with an interim order of the Bombay high court by which the decision of Maharashtra government to provide 16% reservation to Marathas in jobs and educational institutions was stayed.
"It is just an interim order, let the Bombay high court decide it," a bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said, while refusing to hear a batch of petitions filed by various parties, including the Maharashtra government, on the issue.
Earlier, the HC had stayed implementation of the controversial decision of the erstwhile Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra to provide reservation to Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions announced ahead of the state assembly election.
The bench, also comprising justice AK Sikri, said, "However, we request the high court to dispose of the writ petition as expeditiously as possible."
On being told that the single judge bench of the high court had already opined his views conclusively on the issue in the interim order itself, the bench said that the judge concerned will not hear it now and the plea will be heard by some other judge of the high court.
The bench then disposed of the matter.
Earlier, the high court had also stayed the decision to provide 5% reservation to Muslims in government service but had allowed quotas for them in educational institutions.
The HC had said that as per the Supreme Court directions, reservation cannot exceed 50% of the total seats and the Congress-NCP government had, in the run up to the Assembly polls, raised it to 73% by announcing 16% quotas for Marathas and 5% for Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions.
The state government had contended in the High Court that the two communities were socially, educationally and economically backward, saying that its decision was based on the report of a committee headed by former minister Narayan Rane set up to look into the issue.