Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Economically Backward Classes Act,2018 (Maratha Reservation) has been quashed by Supreme Court on May 5th,2021. In a unanimous Judgement, the 5 Judge Bench has struck down the above act along with dealing with larger questions like the Interpretation of Articles under the 102nd Constitutional Amendment and revisiting the 50% Ceiling limit established through Indira Sawhney Case.
What is the Maratha Reservation (Maratha Quota)? Why did Supreme Court quash the State Act for Maratha Reservation?
The Government of Maharashtra has passed the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Economically Backward Classes Act,2018. In this Act, Maharashtra State Government has identified Maratha Community as Economically Backward Class and allowed for a 16% Reservation for Maratha Community in Government Employment and Educational Institutions.
The High Court of Maharashtra has upheld the validity of Maratha Reservation along with a 9 Member Gaikwad Committee, which released a 1300 pages report on the matter supporting the Maratha Quota. Supreme Court has agreed to review the matter and look into the Constitutional Validity of the 16% Maratha Reservation in Educational Institutions and Government Employment.
On May 5th, 2021, Supreme Court has quashed the Maratha Reservation quoting that the Act is against the Principle of Right to Equality and exceeds the 50% overall limit for reservations as established in the Indra Sawhney case.
Interpretation of Article 342 A and 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act,2018.
One Hundred and Second Constitutional Amendment Act 2018 has provided for the Constitutional Status of National Commission for Backward Classes. It has introduced to articles namely, 338B and 342A. The question before Supreme Court was to check the scope and limits of States in Declaring a particular caste as Economically or Socially Backward Class.
The bench Upheld the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act and quashed the petitions against it for Violating the Basic Structure of the Constitution. Justice Bhushan and Justice Nazeer interpreted that article 342A is non violative of States Rights to identify the backward classes.
Gaikwad Committee, Indira Sawhney Case 50% Ceiling on Reservations.
The bill in discussion has been enacted by Maharashtra Government allowing reservations for Maratha Community, taking overall reservations in the state from 52% to 68%. In the Indira Sawhney Vs Union of India case- it was established that total reservation cannot be over 50% and doing so would be violative of the Right to equality. This was held so as to strike a balance between the Idea of Reservations to Uplift the backward classes and the Principle of Right to Equality.
A Bench of 5 Supreme Court Judges in its recent decision has said that there is no need to revisit the Indira Sawhney Case and what has been followed as a precedent in many judgements stands valid.
Gaikwad Committee head by Justice Gaikwad is a nine-member Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission that released a 1035 page report on the Educational and Economical Backwardness of the Maratha Community. Based on the report from the Gaikwad Committee, Maharashtra Government has passed the Maratha Reservation Bill.
Some Important and Relevant Topics for UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains 2021 Exam.
- Who has the ultimate power to declare Backward Classes ( State Vs Center Vs President)
- Brining Indira Sawhney Into Context. Comment.
- Basic Structure of Constitution
- Judicial Activism in India ( 2010-2021 ). Elaborate.
- 300 Words on what you think about Supreme Court Judgement on Maratha Reservation?
Stay Tuned for Interesting articles on the above Topics from Thought Scroll.