Maratha Reservation: Bombay HC Issues Notice to Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission

In a significant development, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC), making it a party respondent in the petitions challenging the state government’s decision to grant a 10 per cent quota to Marathas. The move follows the court’s recognition of the MSBCC as a necessary party in these legal proceedings.

A full bench comprising Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya, Justices G S Kulkarni, and Firdosh Pooniwalla made this decision. This action came a day after the bench noted that some of the petitions had also contested the commission’s report recommending the reservation.

Last week, the court began hearing a series of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2024. This Act provides a 10 per cent reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and education.

Several petitioners have raised concerns regarding the establishment and methodology of the MSBCC, headed by retired Justice Sunil Shukre, and the report it produced advocating for Maratha reservation. One of the petitioners, Bhausaheb Pawar, filed an application on Monday seeking to include the commission as a party respondent in the case.

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The petitioners have argued against the Act on the grounds that the Maratha community is not backward and therefore does not need reservation benefits. They also pointed out that Maharashtra has already exceeded the 50 per cent cap on reservations.

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