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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Draft of Maratha quota bill similar to previous bills struck down by Supreme Court Sharad Pawar

Draft of Maratha quota bill similar to previous bills struck down by Supreme Court: Sharad Pawar

Updated on: 20 February,2024 07:19 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

NCP founder Sharad Pawar 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 scrutiny of the Supreme Court in the past

Draft of Maratha quota bill similar to previous bills struck down by Supreme Court: Sharad Pawar

Pic: PTI File

NCP founder Sharad Pawar 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 scrutiny of the Supreme Court in the past.


"We need to see what happens to the fresh bill in the Supreme Court," Pawar told reporters in Kolhapur.


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, newswire PTI reported.


"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.

The Congress also on Tuesday said the Maratha quota bill passed by the Maharashtra legislature will not stand the legal scrutiny and accused the government of deceiving Marathas and OBCs.

Senior Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar dubbed the exercise a "farce" with an eye on elections.

The Maharashtra State Socially and Educationally Backward Bill 2024 providing 10 per cent reservation for the Maratha community in education and government jobs was passed unanimously by the state legislature in the special session.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray wondered if granting reservation comes under the purview of the state government.

"The law on the Maratha reservation was passed earlier also, but it was rejected by the Supreme Court. This (the passage of the bill) was done conveniently before polls. The legislation will not stand the test of law," Leader of Opposition in the state legislative assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, told reporters.

"This is a farce to win elections. The government has deceived the Maratha community and OBCs," he alleged.

Wadettiwar said the government will showcase the passage of the bill to derive political mileage ahead of the elections.

"They don't intend the welfare of people. This is a ploy to destroy the Maratha community. The bill will not benefit Marathas," he said.

Reacting to the development, Raj Thackeray said the Maratha community should remain alert.

"Does granting the reservation come under the purview of the state government? This (bill) will go to the Supreme Court and the state government will wash its hands off. The bill is brought ahead of elections," Thackeray said.

Maharashtra currently provides 52 per cent reservation, including 13 per cent for Scheduled Castes, 7 per cent for Scheduled Tribes, 19 per cent for OBCs, 2 per cent for Special Backward Classes, 3 per cent for Vimukta Jati, and 8 per cent collectively for Nomadic Tribes B, C, and D sub-categories.

A separate 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education is provided under the EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) category. 

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. (With inputs from PTI)

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