ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On Maratha Reservations Judgment: Part-1

The Supreme Court’s constitution bench judgment striking down the Maharashtra government’s reservations for Marathas has affirmed and applied well-accepted tests laid down in the Indra Sawhney judgment. However, it has also missed an opportunity to re-examine the artificially imposed 50% limit on reservations in jobs and seats. The justification for retaining the same, however, could also affect reservations for the economically weaker sections.

 

A constitution bench judgment of the Supreme Court in Dr Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil v the Chief Minister (2021) (hereinafter “Patil”) struck down the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats in educational institutions in the state and for appointments in public service and posts under the state) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Reservation Act, 2018 (hereinafter “2018 Maharashtra law”). Holding that the Maratha community in Maharashtra was not a “socially and educationally backward class” (SEBC) and that the 2018 Maharashtra law pushed the quantum of reservations in Maharashtra beyond 50%, the Court declared the law to be in violation of Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution.

Four opinions have been delivered by the five judges on the bench with Justice Ashok Bhushan authoring the lengthiest and most detailed opinion to which Justice Abdul Nazeer concurred entirely, while the remaining three judges (Justices Nageshwara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ravindra Bhat) agreed partially.

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Updated On : 23rd May, 2021

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