The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the reservation for the Maratha community in education and jobs exceeding 50%. The verdict came on a bunch of petitions challenging the 2019 Bombay High Court order that upheld reservation for Marathas in admissions to colleges and in government jobs in the state.
The verdict was pronounced by a five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. Earlier, on March 26, the top court had reserved its verdict on the pleas.
All about the case:
* On July 9, 2014, the Maharashtra government passed an ordinance granting 16% reservation in education and public employment to the Maratha community.
* This was challenged and in November 2014, the Bombay High Court issued an interim order staying the ordinance’s implementation. A challenge to the interim order was dismissed by the Supreme Court in December, 2014.
* This was followed by the Maharashtra government enacting the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2014. This granted 16% reservation to educationally and socially backward classes, among whom the Maratha community was counted.
* On 7 April, 2016 the Bombay High Court again stayed the implementation as it was similar to the earlier ordinance.
* The government then took the commission route and on January 4, 2017 set up the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission.
* The Commission, chaired by Justice Gaikwad, recommended 12% and 13% reservation for Marathas in educational institutions and appointments in public services, respectively.
* After this, Maharashtra passed the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 on November 29, 2018. The Act exceeds the recommended quotas, granting 16% reservation for Marathas in Maharashtra’s state educational institutions and appointments to public service.
* The Act was challenged before the Bombay High Court by three lead petitions, along with several other writ petitions.
* On June 27 2019, the Bombay High Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Act but said the government should not exceed the Commission’s recommendation of 12% and 13% in education and public employment respectively.
* In July 2019, the HC order was challenged in Supreme Court.
* On May 5, 2021, the Supreme Court struck down reservation for the Maratha community in education/ jobs exceeding 50%.