Supreme Court holds reservation in Marathas for jobs and education unconstitutional

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The Supreme Court has rejected the decision for reservation for Marathas in educational institutions and government jobs. The Supreme Court held that reservation for jobs and education to Marathas in Maharashtra was unconstitutional. At the same time, the court turned down the demand to send a larger bench for reconsideration of the Indira Sawhney judgment of 1992, which set a maximum reservation limit of 50 percent. A five-judge constitution bench unanimously held that the Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas violates the 50 percent limit. While granting Maratha reservation was no valid ground for violating the 50 percent reservation, the decision also clarified that the people of the Maratha community cannot be brought into the category declared as educationally and socially backward communities.

The Bombay High Court upheld the reservation for Marathas in educational institutions and government jobs in Maharashtra. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled the petitions challenging the decision. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan ruled. The Supreme Court had on March 26 reserved its decision on the petitions.

The constitution bench began hearing in the case on 15 March. The High Court upheld the law of June 2019, stating that 16 percent reservation is not justified. Reservation in employment should not be more than 12 percent and it should not be more than 13 percent in enrollment.