Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday will hear a batch of petitions on the issue of Maratha reservation. The hearing came after the Maharashtra Cabinet on Sunday approved reservation to Marathas for which the community has been protesting since 2017, demanding quota in government jobs and in admissions in the academic institution.

It was reported that the Maharashtra government will create a new category called SEBC (socially and economically backward) as per the recommendation of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission, under which the community would be provided the quota.

On Monday, one of the petitioners, Vinod Patil, mentioned the issue of Maratha reservation before a division bench headed by Justice BP Dharmadhikari and had sought an urgent hearing. Patil had earlier sought that the commission’s recommendations made to the state be submitted before the court. He had also urged the court to direct the state to implement the quota for the Maratha community in a time-bound manner.

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.

Besides, Maratha reservation issue, the state high court will also hear a plea of Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, that he was being prosecuted for terror charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) without any valid sanction.

The Supreme court had, on April 20 this year, granted Lt. Col. Purohit the liberty to raise the issue of grant of sanction to prosecute him under the UAPA before the trial court at the time of framing of charges. However, the trial court had rejected Purohit’s plea on sanction and had framed charges against him.