16% Maratha quota over 50% cap valid, say petitioners
Petitioners supporting the 16% Maratha quota told the Bombay high court that the 50% cap on reservation was not part of the basic structure of the Constitution and hence, the state was not wrong in breaching it.Updated: Mar 15, 2019 06:15 IST
Petitioners supporting the 16% Maratha quota told the Bombay high court (HC) that the 50% cap on reservation was not part of the basic structure of the Constitution and hence, the state was not wrong in breaching it. They argued that Article 342A — which grants exclusive powers to the President to notify a backward class — does not take away the right of the state to grant reservation to social and economic backward classes (SEBC) as then, all previous quotas for other backward classes (OBC) in the state list would become void.
The bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre on Thursday then questioned the counsel for the petitioner under what exceptional circumstances the Marathas merit a separate reservation and asked him to explain the same on Friday.
On Thursday, arguing on behalf of petitioner Vaibhav Kadam, Rafiq Dada told the HC that the 50% cap on reservation granted by states was promoted after the Balaji judgment. However, the Indra Sawhney judgment later ruled that states could exceed the cap in exceptional circumstances. He argued, that though the objections that the breaching of the 50% cap could destabilise the equality equilibrium were valid, in case of Marathas, there was a need to grant them separate reservation in education and jobs. He said if there was a cap on reservation in the basic structure of the Constitution, then 103rd Amendment, which allowed the 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections, would be invalid as most states would breach the cap.
Dada also said Article 342A only dealt with Central list and the state’s rights under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) to grant reservation are unaffected. He added the state announced the 16% reservation for Marathas under the SEBC category based on quantifiable data.
First Published: Mar 15, 2019 06:15 IST