SC to commence final hearing on Maratha reservation on July 27

15 July, 2020 | newsx bureau

SC to start proceedings on Maratha Reservation National

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared that it will commence final day-to-day hearing to scrutinise the constitutionaity of Maratha reservation in Maharashtra's jobs and educational institutions o...

The Supreme Court on Wednesday announced that it will start from July 27 day-to-day final hearing on the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of a Maharashtra law granting reservation to the Maratha community in education and jobs.

A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said that the final hearing on the matter will begin from July 27 on a day-to-day basis through video conference as the chances of physical hearing are bleak because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The apex court asked the lawyers appearing for all the parties to decide amongst themselves the modalities of the hearing and who will take how much time.

The top court also refused to pass an interim stay on the order of the Bombay High Court, which upheld the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra law, observing that the same was also declined by it earlier.

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During the hearing, senior advocate Shyam Divan appearing for one of the petitioners submitted before the Supreme Court that this type of a case needs to be heard in a physical court.

Petitioners argued that the reservation breaches the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court for reservations in each State, and claimed that the High Court overlooked certain fundamental and legal clauses.

They also argue that the state does not have the authority or law to create a class like Maratha as a separate socially and educationally backward class. This should only be under the authority of the Union Government and not the State government, petitioners’ lawyers argued.

The bench was hearing two appeals, including one filed by J Laxman Rao Patil challenging the Bombay High Court order that upheld the constitutional validity of the quota for the Maratha community in education and government jobs in the state.

The Bombay High Court had on June 27, 2019, observed that the 50 per cent cap on total reservations imposed by the Supreme Court could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances.

Another appeal filed by advocate Sanjeet Shukla, a representative of ‘Youth for Equality’, said the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, enacted to grant reservation to the Maratha community people in jobs and education, breached the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation fixed by the top court in its judgment in the Indira Sawhney case.

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