Plea Challenges Backward Caste Quota In Maharashtra Government jobs

The plea was listed for hearing in the HC on Monday. (File)


A petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the reservation of two per cent seats in Maharashtra public services for candidates belonging to the Special Backward Classes (SBCs) that was granted in 1994.

The petition, filed by the Youth for Equality – the same organisation that had also challenged the Maratha reservation in the state – has claimed the two per cent quota for SBCs in Maharashtra government jobs is unconstitutional.

The plea was listed for hearing in the HC on Monday, but could not be taken up due to paucity of time.

The plea, filed through advocate Sanjeet Shukla, challenged a state government decision from the year 1994 that created the category of SBCs and provided for the two reservation for them in government jobs.

The said provision takes the total percentage of reservation in government jobs for various special or scheduled categories to 52 per cent, breaching the Supreme Court-mandated limit, the petitioner pointed out.

The organization cited the Supreme Court judgement that mandates that reservations in jobs must not exceed the upper ceiling of 50 per cent unless there exist extraordinary circumstances.

The plea said the December 1994 state cabinet decision notifying the SBC category and granting them reservation was a political move as the relevant notification did not ever claim that the Special Backward Classes (SBCs) had any extraordinary circumstances attached to them.

Besides, the SBCs are treated at par with the general category when it comes to seats in educational institutions in the state and they are eligible for reservation only if any OBC category seats remain vacant, it said.

Even then, as per the Maharashtra government notification, the upper ceiling of 50 per cent reservation in education must not be breached, the plea said.

The plea maintained the Maharashtra government has not made any efforts to “find out if the castes included in the SBC category are backward, much less any data to show or prove their backwardness.”

“The petitioner is aggrieved by the Maharashtra state notification dated December 8, 1994, thereby creating a new special category of SBCs and granting two per cent reservation in public services over and above the 50 per cent reservation already granted to other categories,” it said.

The plea urged the HC to quash the notification issued 27 years ago.

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