Arguments on Maratha quota conclude in Bombay HC, judgment soon

Senior advocate Pradip Sancheti for petitioner Sanjeet Shukla, who represented the Youth for Equality, told a bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre that the Gaikwad Commission had erred in its analysis of the data.
Members of Maratha community celebrate after Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation for Maratha community, Nov 29, 2018.(HT File Photo)
Members of Maratha community celebrate after Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation for Maratha community, Nov 29, 2018.(HT File Photo)
Published on Mar 27, 2019 04:01 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By K A Y Dodhiya, Mumbai

The arguments in the bunch of petitions challenging the 16% Maratha reservation concluded in the Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday. The bench is expected to give its judgment in due course.

Senior advocate Pradip Sancheti for petitioner Sanjeet Shukla, who represented the Youth for Equality, told a bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre that the Gaikwad Commission had erred in its analysis of the data.

Referring to the commission’s report and the state’s submission that Marathas comprised 32% of the state population and hence deserved 16% reservation was wrong, he said, “The 1931 Census data referred to by the state was only of Hindu population and did not include the entire population. The data shows a patent error/mistake,” said Sancheti. He said the data referred to by the Rane Committee, which also said that the Maratha population in the state was 32.2%, was wrong as the table of surveyed population showed persons from other categories to be way below the reservation they were enjoying.

“The observation pegged Maratha population to be 32.2%, SC 1.8%, ST 0.9% and OBC 3.15%,” he said. Sancheti said that in light of this observation, it could be concluded that the SC, ST, OBC enjoyed more reservation than their population,” he said. The state, through senior advocate VA Thorat, said that not only the commission, but even the legislature agreed on the reservation and hence it was valid.

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