MUMBAI: Some Maharashtra government employees approached the Bombay High Court on Tuesday challenging a July 11 government resolution on retrospective implementation of reservation under the Maratha quota.
The petitioners, led by one Sunita Nagane, an employee of the Maharashtra Zila Parishad District Services, urged the court to quash the government resolution (GR) that makes way for terminating services of some open category employees to accommodate those eligible to get jobs in the above department under the Maratha quota.
The dispute relates to two orders passed by the Bombay High Court in 2015 and 2019 over the implementation of the quota.
In 2015, then Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Mohit Shah stayed the state's proposal to provide 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community.
Chief Justice Shah said at the time that there would be no separate reservation in public employment for Marathas even if the state government proved the community was educationally and socially backward.
He then directed the state government not to keep 16 per cent posts in public employment vacant for the community.
Accordingly, the state filled up the reserved seats by employing people from the open category.
However, in June this year, another bench of Bombay High Court upheld the state's decision to grant reservation in government jobs and educational institutes for the Maratha community.
It, however, said that 16 per cent was a bit much and the state reduced the same to 12 per cent in jobs, and 14 per cent in education.
On July 11 this year, the state issued a GR mandating that reservation will be implemented retrospectively.
Therefore, those from the open category, who were employed between 2015 and June 2019 on seats meant for the Maratha community, will have to be terminated to make way for the latter.
As per the petitioner, following the GR, the state issued directions to the chief of Nagane department to terminate the services of such employees, including her, with immediate effect.
The petitioners' counsels, Ramesh Badi and C M Lokesh, told a bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre that a total of 2,700 open category state government employees across various departments were likely to be affected by the GR.
The petitioners said the state's decision to implement the quota retrospectively was not correct as per the law.
The bench directed Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to appear in the matter from the next date to represent the state.
It also suggested the state refrain from implementing the GR for the next three weeks until the next date of hearing.
The state's counsel Akshay Shinde told the court that services of open category employees would not be terminated till the next date of hearing.