The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Bombay High Court’s decision to uphold reservations for the Maratha community in educational institutions and jobs in public services in Maharashtra, LiveLaw reported. Non-governmental organisation Youth For Equality had filed a petition against the High Court’s verdict.
However, a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose ordered that the reservations cannot be applied with retrospective effect. The petitioners had told the top court that the Maharashtra government passed an order on Thursday that stated that the reservation would be applied from 2014.
The court sought the Maharashtra government’s response and issued a notice on the petition, which had said that the provision for 12% reservation in education and 13% in jobs would breach the ceiling of 50% reserved seats imposed by the top court itself in a landmark verdict in 1992.
The Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra had approved 16% reservation for the Marathas in jobs and education in November last year following state-wide protests. The Maratha community roughly forms one-third of the state population.
The Bombay High Court upheld the decision, but asked the state not to exceed the recommendation of the State Commission for Backward Classes that the reservation be kept at 12% in education and 13% in jobs. A 16% quota for Marathas would take the proportion of reserved seats in the state to 68%.
The Maharashtra government had also filed a caveat in the Supreme Court in connection with the Bombay High Court’s judgement. The caveat was filed to ensure that no judgement is passed without hearing the state government if there are any appeals against the High Court verdict.