HC reserves order on PILs against quota for Muslims, Marathas

The Bombay High Court on Friday reserved its order on a bunch of public interest litigations challenging Maharashtra government's decision to provide 16 per cent reservations for Marathas and 5 per cent quota for Muslims in jobs and educational institutions.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday reserved its order on a bunch of public interest litigations challenging Maharashtra government's decision to provide 16 per cent reservations for Marathas and 5 per cent quota for Muslims in jobs and educational institutions.

The petitions argue that these two communities are not backward and the decision is unconstitutional and against the previous orders of the Supreme Court.

Former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, one of the petitioners, argued that as per the year 2000 report of National Commission for Backward Classes, Marathas are socially advanced and they cannot be included in the list of backward classes.

The Commission had noted -- while rejecting the community's claim for inclusion in the list of backward classes -- that Marathas had played a pioneering role in shaping the socio-cultural and political history of modern Maharashtra and had been in the forefront of many spheres of the state's development.

The HC has taken this report on record.

The NGO Youth For Equality, another petitioner, argued that as per the Supreme Court's guidelines, aggregate reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent and a religion cannot be the basis for providing reservations.

The Congress-NCP government, which is facing assembly elections next month, recently took the decision to provide reservations for Marathas and Muslims. 

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