Maratha Quota : Supreme Court Constitution Bench To Start Final Hearing From Jan 25; Stay Order Continues

first_imgTop StoriesMaratha Quota : Supreme Court Constitution Bench To Start Final Hearing From Jan 25; Stay Order Continues LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK9 Dec 2020 2:56 AMShare This – x A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to hear from January 25 the challenge against the the constitutionality of the Maharashtra Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, which provided for a quota to Marathas in jobs and education. The bench refused to pass any order to lift the stay put by a three-judge bench in September this year on…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to hear from January 25 the challenge against the the constitutionality of the Maharashtra Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, which provided for a quota to Marathas in jobs and education. The bench refused to pass any order to lift the stay put by a three-judge bench in September this year on making appointments and admissions under the Maratha quota. The stay order was passed by the 3-judge bench which referred the appeals to the larger bench.Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the State of Maharashtra, submitted that an application seeking modification of the order has been filed so that appointment process can proceed. He submitted that when a case is referred, the reference bench cannot pass interim orders and that the whole issue must be left to the Constitution Bench. He submitted that it is the settled law and practise.The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, L Nageswara Rao, S Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat was not inclined to consider the interim prayer for vacation of stay and instead said that the matter can be finally heard in January.When Rohatgi submitted that around 2185 appointments have been stalled due to the stay order, the bench said that the Court has not stopped Maharashtra government from making appointments and said that what has been stopped are only the appointments under the quota.The 5-judge bench also issued notice to the Attorney General for India as the matter involves the interpretation of the the 102nd amendment to the Constitution.”We are of the view that due to the issues which have been raised in these civil appeals and the effect and consequences which follow, it is necessary that the Civil Appeals be heard and the final hearing be concluded as early as possible.The court is closing for winter vacations on 18th Dec. List these appeals week commencing Jan 25″, the bench said in the order.The bench has allowed the counsels to submit written submissions by the second week of Janaury.The September 9th order held that no appointments or admissions shall be made under the impugned Act for the year 2020-2021. However, post-graduate admissions that had taken place till date would remain unaltered. The plea before the 3-Judge Bench challenged the Bombay High Court judgment passed in June 2019, and submitted that the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, which provides for 12% and 13% quota to the Maratha community in education and jobs respectively, violated the principles laid in the case of Indira Sawhney v. Union of India (1992) as per which the Apex Court capped the reservation limit at 50%. The Bombay High Court, while upholding the Maratha quota, held that 16% reservation is not justifiable and ruled that reservation should not exceed 12% in employment and 13% in education as recommended by the State Backward Commission.Why the 3-judge bench referred the matter?On September 9, a three judge bench referred the cases to larger bench to determine the issue whether State Government has the power to declare a class as Socially and Economically Backward after the Constitution (102nd) amendment.A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat observed :”One of the issues that was considered by the High Court at the instance of the writ petitioners is whether the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018 affects the competence of the State Legislature to declare a particular caste to be a socially and educationally backward class. According to the writ petitioners in the High Court, the State Legislature has been denuded of this power after the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018 came into force. The High Court rejected the said contention and upheld the legislative competence of the State Legislature. There is no authoritative pronouncement on the interpretation of the provisions inserted by the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018. We are satisfied that interpretation of Articles 338-B and 342-A, which are inserted by Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018, involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution and the determination of such question is necessary for the disposal of the Appeal. Thus, as mandated by Article 145 (3) of the Constitution of India, these Appeals require to be considered by a larger Bench. In view of our decision to refer these Appeals to a larger Bench, we do not consider it necessary to adjudicate on the other points raised by the applicant”As the interpretation of the provisions inserted by the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018 is a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution of India, these Appeals are referred to a larger Bench. These matters shall be placed before Hon’ble The Chief Justice of India for suitable orders”, the bench said.To grant interim order, the bench observed that the State of Maharashtra has not shown any extraordinary situation for providing reservations to Marathas in excess of 50 per cent rule expounded in Indra Sawhney judgment. Maratha community which comprises of 30 per cent of the population in the State of Maharashtra cannot be compared to marginalized sections of the society living in far flung and remote areas, it said. Click here to read/download the order   Next Storylast_img read more