A Public Interest Litigation or PIL filed in the Bombay High Court has challenged the Maharashtra Cabinet’s recent decision to grant 16 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to Marathas.
The PIL, filed by former journalist and activist Ketan Tirodkar, argues that Marathas are not a caste and they comprised a linguistic group.
It further stated that Marathas are a dominant community, not a backward one.
The PIL also argued that the state government’s decision violated a Supreme Court order that had made it clear that reservations could not cross 50 per cent.
The High Court will take up the matter for hearing on Saturday.
The Maharashtra government, decimated in last month’s national election, had decided on June 25 to extend reservation meant for Other Backward Classes to Marathas; a five per cent quota was also added for Muslims.
The move comes as the state gears up for assembly elections which are expected in October, leading to allegations that it’s been pushed through as a vote-getter.
Sharad Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party governs the state in alliance with the Congress, yesterday suggested that his party will happily leverage any benefits from a decision to reserve jobs for the politically vital community.
“It was a long-pending demand that we fulfilled, we did not consider whether we will benefit, but if we do, so be it – we are not a gang of sadhus or saints,” said Mr. Pawar.