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Supreme Court strikes down Maratha Reservation law for exceeding 50 percent cap

The case had already been heard at length earlier and a request was made to reconsider granting more than 50 per cent reservation.

Supreme Court strikes down Maratha Reservation law for exceeding 50 percent cap
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On Wednesday, May 5, the Supreme Court 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 (Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil v. Chief Minister).

Moreover, the apex court added that there were no extraordinary circumstances to grant reservation to the Maratha community over and above the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation prescribed by the Supreme Court in its 1992 judgment in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India.

The case had already been heard at length earlier and a request was made to reconsider granting more than 50 per cent reservation. Following the hearing, which began on March 15, the court reserved its decision on March 26. Meanwhile, the Center had taken a stand that the reservation was valid.

In the past, back in June 2019, the Bombay High Court had objected to 16 per cent granting reservation to the Maratha community. The court had observed that there should be no reservation of more than 12 per cent in jobs and no more than 13 per cent in admissions.

However, on March 8, 2021, the apex court decided to hear all States in the matter, after Senior Counsel Mukul Rohtagi, Kapil Sibal and Dr AM Singhvi contended that the case involves an issue that impacts all states since any judgment in the matter could impact the powers of the state to extend reservation to socially and educationally backward classes.

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