The Maharashtra government has said the Maratha community in the state will not benefit from the 10% reservation in jobs and education announced by the Centre for economically weaker sections in the general category, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The government’s general administration department issued a notification on the matter on Tuesday.
The Devendra Fadnavis government had approved 16% reservation for the Marathas, who comprise 30% of the state population, on November 18 under the socially and educationally backward class category. The decision was taken after the State Backward Class Commission submitted a report on November 15, approving the proposal. The Assembly passed the legislation later that month. At the time, Fadnavis had said that the quota would be independent of the existing 52% reservation system in the state.
The law has been challenged in the Bombay High Court, with petitioners calling it an “election gimmick and politically motivated”. The same accusation has been levelled at the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre for pushing through Parliament the law providing reservation to economically weak sections of the upper castes. The law, which defines households with an income of less than Rs 8 lakh a year as poor, is also under judicial scrutiny in the Supreme Court.
Parliament passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Third) Amendment Act, 2019, on January 9. It came into effect five days later. Businessman Tehseen Poonawalla, anti-reservation organisation Youth for Equality and Janhit Abhiyan have challenged the law in court. They have alleged that the law cannot define backwardness by “economic status alone” and violates the Constitution.
On January 25, the court had said it would start hearing these petitions in four weeks. No date has been fixed yet.