Bombay High Court Upholds Reservation For Marathas

By Moderator June 28, 2019 09:32

The Bombay High Court upheld the constitutional validity of reservation for Marathas community in government jobs and education.


  • On November 30, 2018, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16 percent reservation in education and government jobs for the Marathas, declared a socially and educationally backward class by the state government.
  • The reservation will be in addition to the existing 52 percent overall reservation in the state. With the 16 percent reservation for Marathas, the reservation quantum in the state was expected to rise to 68 percent.
    • In Maharashtra, following the 2001 State Reservation Act, the total reservation is 52 percent. This includes quotas for SC (13%), ST (7%), OBC (19%), Special Backward Class (2%), Vimukti Jati (3%), Nomadic Tribe B (2.5%), Nomadic Tribe C-Dhangar (3.5%) and Nomadic Tribe D-Vanjari (2%).
    • The quotas for Nomadic Tribes and Special Backward Classes have been carved out of the total OBC quota.
  • Several petitions were filed in the court challenging the reservation, while a few others were filed in its support.
    • The petitions challenging the quota decision had argued that it was violative of Supreme Court’s orders which say that reservation in any state should not exceed more than 50 percent.
    • The government, while defending its decision, had said that it was meant to alleviate the Maratha community, which it said was socially and economically backward.

Bombay High Court Judgement

  • The judgment said the classification of the Maratha class into “Socially and Educationally Backward Class” was justified
  • But quashed the 16% quota by calling it “not justifiable”. The court said it should not exceed 12% for education and 13% for jobs as recommended by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC).
  • The bench ruled that the state government had the “legislative competence” to enact the SEBC Act.
  • The bench said that it upheld the report of the MSBCC that the 50% limit of reservation, as set out by the Supreme Court in the Indra Sawhney case of 1992 can be crossed subject to availability of quantifiable and contemporaneous data reflecting backwardness, the inadequacy of representation and without affecting the efficiency in administration.
    • The addition of 12-13 percent of Maratha quota will take the total reservation in the state to 64-65 percent.
    • The court said that MSBCC had for the first time carried out a “systematic scientific analysis” based on ground surveys, collecting data from households.

Also read: The Legal Provisions for Women

Maratha Reservation Verdict By High Court: An Analysis


By Moderator June 28, 2019 09:32