SC strikes down Maratha quota; terms it “unconstitutional”

5th May 2021

5th May 2021

Image: Courtesy LiveLaw

The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 which extends reservation to the Maratha community in public education and employment.

The Court unanimously held that there were no exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of reservation to Marathas in excess of 50% ceiling limit. The top court, while nixing the act said that it violates equality as under Article 14 of the Constitution.

The five-judge Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta, and Ravindra Bhat, pronounced the verdict. 

“Neither the Gaikwad Commission nor the High Court have made out any situation for exceeding the ceiling of 50% reservation for Marathas,” the bench led by Justices Bhushan unanimously declared. “Therefore, we find there are no extraordinary circumstances for exceeding the ceiling.”

However, it also said that all admissions made to post-graduate medical courses and appointments already made under the new quota law shall not be disturbed by its ruling today.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called the Supreme Court’s verdict “unfortunate”. Thackeray said that the unanimously legislation was passed for the sake of a “life with self-respect” for the member of the community.


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