The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Maharashtra government in connection to the MarathaReservation verdict, which the Bombay High Court cleared last month.
The top court was hearing an appeal challenging the lower court's verdict.
Without putting a stay on the judgment, the bench said the state can't apply Maratha reservation in a retrospective manner.
Here are more details.
Context: After government gave reservation to Marathas, HC cleared it
In its June 27 judgment, Bombay HC upheld reservations for Maratha community in jobs and education.
However, it stated 16% wasn't feasible and asked the government to bring it down to 12% in jobs and 13% in education.
To note, the government cleared Maratha reservation by creating a new Socially and Economically Backward (SEBC) category. They said Marathas have been "ignored for long".
Subsequently, verdict was challenged in top court
After HC didn't stop quota, Youth for Equality filed a petition in the top court.
Their representative Sanjeet Shukla said Maratha reservation breached 50% cap on quota, which the constitutional bench of SC had set.
"The Maharashtra government has made a mockery of the rule of law. It has also used its constitutional powers arbitrarily and purely for political gains," the petition reportedly said.
Moreover, plea claimed HC 'erred' by breaching limit
"The High Court erred in concluding that the mere fact that other OBCs would have to share their reservation quotas with the Marathas constitutes an exceptional circumstance warranting a breach of the 50% ceiling limit set in Indira Sawhney case," the plea read.
Further, plea said SEBC Act was "unconstitutional"
About the SEBC Act, the plea said it was "unconstitutional" as it violated a 2015 order of Bombay HC without removing its basis.
The plea added, SEBC "overstepped" the constitutional limitations included in 102nd Amendment to the Constitution.
As per the aforementioned amendment, reservation can only be given to a community, which features in a list prepared by the President.
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No data to show Marathas are backward: Plea
Another point which the plea highlighted was that SEBC Act was passed on the basis of recommendations of Justice Gaikwad Commission Report. The report, the petition claimed, wasn't backed by empirical data to show Marathas were socially and educationally backward.
SC stopped Maharashtra government from applying reservation since 2014
The plea was mentioned in the top court on Monday and it came up for hearing on Friday.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also including Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the state government can't apply reservation retrospectively.
To note, the state government wanted to apply reservation since 2014, but the latest verdict stops it from doing so.