The Centre on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging the court’s interpretation of the 102nd amendment to the Constitution in the Maratha reservation judgement of May 5, Bar and Bench reported.

The Centre in its petition said the power of the states to identify and notify socially and educationally backward classes cannot be scrapped, according to NDTV.

“As provided in the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, a Review Petition for review of the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court has been filed by the Union of India on 13th May, 2021,” the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry said, the channel reported.

On May 5, the Supreme Court heard a batch of petitions that challenged the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, saying it would breach the ceiling of 50% quota limit imposed by the Supreme Court itself in a landmark verdict in 1992. The court held that the quota was unconstitutional.

In a 3:2 majority, a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court also held that the power to identify and notify socially and educationally backward classes at both the Central and the state levels will now lie exclusively with the President.

Till now, there had been two separate lists of groups that constituted the Other Backward Classes that were eligible to avail of quotas in educational institutions and government jobs. The Centre had a list of Other Backward Classes that was used for admission to educational institutions run by the Centre and Central government jobs. The states had their own lists of Other Backward Classes that they used for state institutions.

On May 5, though, the Supreme Court ruled that there will only be one list of backward classes to be notified by the President. This list can only be amended by Parliament.

The states can, through their existing mechanisms, or even statutory commissions, can only make suggestions to the President or the commission, for “inclusion, exclusion or modification of castes or communities” in the list, Justice Bhat had said.

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