MUMBAI: The Supreme Court judgment calling Maratha quota in excess of 50% ceiling limit as unconstitutional has come as a major setback to the Maratha community. The apex court unanimously held that there were no exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of reservation to Marathas in excess of 50% ceiling limit as a Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC).
Maratha leader and BJP Rajya Sabha member Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati said that this is an unfortunate judgment for the community, adding that the community protested in a peaceful manner. “The Supreme Court judgment is against the sentiment of the community. There is anger against the court order, but we should not dishonour the judgment of the Supreme Court. All sections of the Maratha protested and demanded the reservation. If the reservation was given, the poor Maratha can get an education and jobs in government. It would have helped alleviate the poverty in the debt-ridden community,” the BJP MP said.
“We are speechless. Both the government BJP and Maha Vikas Aghadi presented the side of the community but court struck down this demand of the community.”
The court said, neither the Gaikwad Commission nor the High Court has made out any situation for exceeding the ceiling of 50% reservation for Marathas. “Therefore, we find there are no extraordinary circumstances for exceeding the ceiling", Justice Ashok Bhushan, the presiding judge, read out the operative portion of the judgment.
The bench struck down the Maharashtra SEBC Act to the extent it held Marathas as a socially and economically backward class as violating the principles of equality. However, it clarified that the judgment will not affect the PG Medical Admissions under Maratha quota made till 09.09.2020.
Pravin Gaikwad, president of Maratha youth organisation Sambhaji Brigade said that the court has rightly struck down the demand of the community saying the reservations cannot be given more than a 50% ceiling limit. Gaikwad said that the central government should identify Maratha as part of the Other Backward Class. “Maratha and Kunbi are the same. Marriage and other things take places between two groups of the Maratha community. One group is given OBC reservation while the other deprived, this is not fair. The state and central should work together and find out the way for the major community of Maharashtra,” Gaikwad said.