The Maharashtra government has filed an application before a larger bench of the Supreme Court seeking vacation of the apex court’s stay on implementation of Maratha quota in jobs and education, an official statement said on Monday. The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s move comes amidst protests by various pro-quota Maratha bodies in the state.
PWD Minister Ashok Chavan later told reporters that the application was filed on Monday morning and added the counsels representing the government will try to see that the hearing on the application takes place soon. Asked about the protest by Marathas, Chavan said, “..It is a judicial process. We will have to find a solution through judicial process only. Hence, the government has filed the application before the Supreme Court following the process”.
The senior Congress leader, who heads the state cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray might make a detailed statement on issues such as admissions, jobs etc. concerning the Maratha community in a day or two. “Our senior counsels will try to see that the hearing (on the vacation application) takes place soon,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Chavan met NCP president Sharad Pawar and held discussion about the steps the MVA dispensation is planning to take in view of the stay order. The Supreme Court earlier this month stayed the implementation of the 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs, but made it clear that the status of those who have availed of the benefits will not be disturbed.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice L N Rao had referred to a larger constitution bench, to be set up by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, the batch of pleas challenging the validity of the law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs. The apex court had said the status of those who have already taken benefits of the 2018 law shall not be disturbed.
The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 was enacted to grant reservation to people of Maratha community in Maharashtra in jobs and admissions. The Bombay High Court, while upholding the law in June last year, held that 16 per cent reservation was not justifiable, and said quota should not exceed 12 per cent in employment and 13 per cent in admissions.