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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Petitioners conclude arguments against Maratha reservation in Bombay high court

The state will now begin its defence

mumbai Updated: Feb 27, 2019 00:27 IST
KAY Dodhiya
KAY Dodhiya
Hindustan Times

After hearing all arguments against the 16% reservation for Marathas announced by the state through the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act on November 30, 2018, the Bombay high court said it will hear the state’s defence and petitions supporting reservation from Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre commenced hearing of arguments against reservation. Senior advocate Satish Talekar, appearing for Raza Academy, pointed that the inclusion of only the Maratha community in SEBC was arbitrary and against the laws of equality.

He further said that while in 2014 the state government had issued ordinances announcing 16% reservation for the Maratha community, it had also issued an ordinance of 5% reservation for Muslims.

“While the Maratha reservation was stayed by the HC, the ordinance for Muslim reservation was not encumbered. But the government did not issue a bill, as a result of which the ordinance lapsed,” said Talekar.

He further said that although four members of the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission (MSBCC) had dissented against creating a separate category or class for giving reservation to the Marathas, the report had no mention of the same.

He said the surveyed respondents had been asked whether they wanted to be included in Other Backward Classes (OBC), to which 99.08% had responded positively, while only 0.04% had sought separate reservation, after which the MSBCC had recommended carving out a separate class.

He concluded his arguments stating that in light of the above, the MSBCC report was a handiwork of manipulations and hence it was disastrous to have passed an act on the basis of such a report.

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 00:27 IST