Mumbai: The Bombay High Court will on Wednesday hear a batch of petitions on the Maratha quota issue. A petition filed by a Pune-based activist will also be mentioned before the division bench led by Justice B P Dharmadhikari against the Maharashtra government’s decision to provide reservations to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions.
In his plea, Hemant Patil sought that the state government be restrained from implementing its decision on providing such quota at least till the high court takes a final decision on the pending petitions.
He also said the state already provides 52 per cent reservation for various caste groups and communities.
Patil contended that if the current government provides 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community, the state will be in breach of a previous Supreme Court judgement that prescribes an upper limit of 50 per cent for caste-based reservations provided by state governments.
Last week, the Maharashtra government approved reservation in government jobs and educational institutes for the community following recommendations of the State Backward Class Commission.
Several petitions were filed in 2014 and 2015 after the then Congress-NCP government granted 16 per cent quota in government jobs and education to the Maratha community.
In November 2014, in an interim order, a division bench of the Bombay HC had stayed the then government’s decision.
While some of the petitions opposed the government’s decision, two petitions had sought immediate implementation of the quota.
Vinod Patil, one of the petitioners, mentioned the matter Monday before a division bench headed by Justice BP Dharmadhikari, seeking an urgent hearing.
Justice Dharmadhikari said he will hear the petitions on Wednesday.
The Maratha community had held protests across the state earlier this year demanding quota in jobs and educational institutions.
On Sunday, the Maharashtra government approved reservation in government jobs and educational institutes for members of the community.
The state’s approval followed the recommendations by the State Backward Class Commission.
While hearing Patil’s petition, the court had, however, in August this year directed the commission to submit a report on the progress in its research on whether the community deserved such reservation.
Patil has now sought that the commission’s recommendations made to the state be submitted before the court.
He has also urged the court to direct the state to implement the quota for the Maratha community in a time-bound manner.