How the Maharashtra govt argued to increase reservation in state from 52% to 62% | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

How the Maharashtra govt argued to increase reservation in state from 52% to 62%

Feb 20, 2024 03:19 PM IST

The Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes, headed by (retired) Justice Sunil Shukre, submitted its 550-page report on the issue last Friday

Mumbai: A bill proposing 10 % quota for Marathas in education and jobs was tabled in the Maharashtra state legislature today. This is the third attempt in a decade by the state to introduce legislation to provide quota benefits for the Maratha community.

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde with Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil earlier this year. (HT file photo.)
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde with Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil earlier this year. (HT file photo.)

Today’s bill takes its recommendations from the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes (MSCBC), headed by (retired) Justice Sunil Shukre, which submitted its 550-page report last Friday.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

An earlier MSCBC panel, headed by retired Justice MG Gaikwad, stated that the Maratha population in Maharashtra stands at 28 % and recommended a 16% reservation for the community. Based on those findings, the state passed an act in November 2018, granting 16% reservation to Marathas. However, the Supreme Court (SC) struck down the law in May 2021, saying it violated the Indira Sawhney judgment of 1991 (explained below).

A government official, who asked not to be named, explained the differences between the findings of the Justice Shukre panel and the 2018 Gaikwad study. “The (new) survey has been thorough, covering over 25 million households, unlike just 45,000 households by the Gaikwad Commission in 2018. The SC had questioned the report at the time, stating it failed to prove the backwardness of the community. The percentage of community members in government jobs was calculated against the open category percent of 48% instead of 100%.”

Also explained: Bill to provide 10% quota for Marathas to be tabled in Maharashtra assembly

As things stand, reservation in the state is 52%. The break down: 13% for Scheduled Castes, 7% for Scheduled Tribes, 19% for OBCs, 2% for Special Backward Classes, 3% for Vimukta Jati, 2.5% for Nomadic Tribe (B), 3.5% for Nomadic Tribe (C) Dhangar, and 2% for Nomadic Tribe (D) Vanjari. Additionally, there is a separate 10% EWS (economically weaker section) quota applicable to the non-reserved section of the population, regardless of caste and religion, with an annual income limit of 8 lakh.

With the proposed Maratha reservation, the state’s overall quota percentage goes up to 62%, just below Tamil Nadu, which stands at 69%. “Maharashtra is not the only state to have above 60% reservation. Haryana and Rajasthan have 64%. Twenty-two states have more than 50%,” state chief minister Eknath Shinde said in the assembly today.

Maharashtra’s tally grates against the Indira Sawhney V Union Government ruling of 1992 (also known as the Mandal verdict), which upheld earlier rulings in MR Balaji V State of Mysore (1963), capping reservation at 50% in vertical quotas. The court also held this restriction as binding barring “exceptional circumstances”.

Also Read: Marathas are backward, concludes backward class commission

The Maharashtra government made its case to introduce 10% reservation for Marathas claiming the community faces “exceptional and extraordinary” circumstances of backwardness. The state also invoked Tamil Nadu’s example, where reservation stands at 69%. The southern state increased the quota structure from 41% to 49% in 1971. This went up to 68% in 1980 and 69% in 1990. The arguments presented were broadly consonant with the political discourse now - exceptional circumstances, creation of sub-divisions in existing social strata, and welfare and advancement of backward classes.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India. Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
Share this article
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On