Supreme Court will decide the fate of Maratha quota bill: Sharad Pawar

08:54 PM Feb 20, 2024 | PTI |

NCP founder Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said the draft of the Maratha quota bill passed by the Maharashtra legislature was similar to the earlier legislation which could not stand the legal scrutiny, and added that the Supreme Court will decide the fate of the fresh bill.


The state legislature has unanimously passed the Maharashtra State Socially and Educationally Backward Bill 2024 granting a 10 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and education under a new category.

”The draft of the bill cleared by the state legislature today is the same as that of the one presented before the apex court. We need to see what happens to the fresh bill in the Supreme Court,” Pawar said.

He met Kolhapur royal Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj at his residence.

”The bill passed today is exactly like the bills cleared by the previous governments. Those bills could not stand the legal scrutiny,” Pawar added.


Earlier attempts by state governments to introduce the reservation for Marathas have been struck down by courts.

Notably, just ahead of elections in 2014, the then Congress government under Prithviraj Chavan issued an ordinance implementing a 16 per cent reservation for Marathas. The Bombay High Court struck it down, citing the 50 per cent limit imposed by the Supreme Court.

In 2018, the Devendra Fadnavis government announced a 16 per cent reservation for Marathas, which was struck down by the top court in 2021 as it breached the 50 per cent quota ceiling, and that there was no ‘extraordinary circumstance’ for justification. ”When our government was in power, the reservation for Marathas was struck down at the High Court level. It survived the HC scrutiny when Devendra Fadnavis was in power, but the Supreme Court rejected it. The Supreme Court will decide the fate of the bill passed today,” said Pawar.

He said predicting the legal outcome is not possible, but the past rulings of courts were not conducive.

Queried about activist Manoj Jarange’s stand that Marathas should get the reservation under the OBC category, Pawar said, ”Jarange has called a meeting tomorrow wherein he is likely to clarify his position”.

”Since Jaranage, who led the agitation on this issue, will be speaking about the quota decision tomorrow, it is not appropriate to speak on it,” he added.


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