Maratha Reservation: SC refuses to change reservation limit, cancels Maratha reservation of Maharashtra

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Maratha Reservation: SC refuses to change reservation limit, cancels Maratha reservation of Maharashtra: In an important judgment on Wednesday, the Supreme Court declared Maharashtra’s law as unconstitutional, which provided for reservation in education and employment for the Maratha community. The court said that there are no exceptional circumstances based on which the Maratha community is considered to be educationally and socially weak and the reservation should be allowed to exceed the maximum 50 percent reservation limit set by the Supreme Court in 1992. Significantly, the Maharashtra government had enacted a law in 2018 to provide 16 percent reservation in education and employment to the Maratha community, causing the percentage of total reservation in Maharashtra to go above the 50 percent limit.

In 2019, the High Court confirmed the validity of this law. The matter then reached the Supreme Court, where several important aspects related to it were discussed closely. An important aspect was whether the maximum reservation limit of 50 percent should be continued. Many states were in favor of abolishing this border. But the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court clearly stated that crossing this reservation limit without special circumstances would be considered a violation of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

Keep in mind that there has been a strong movement in Maharashtra for the demand for Maratha reservations. All important political parties are in support of this demand. Even during the hearing of this case in the Supreme Court, not only the Central Government supported this law made by the Government of Maharashtra, but many other states were also in favor of this initiative. It should not be forgotten that many states like Maharashtra have reservations about reservations. Demand for reservation from traditionally considered strong communities has also arisen in other states in recent years. The agitations regarding Patel reservation in Gujarat and Jat reservation in Rajasthan and Haryana were well known at the national level. There can be a logic behind these demands.

There may also be true in the argument of some state governments that even after seven decades of independence, there are many communities that remain backward. But the question is, is reservation the only way to remove all such backwardness? Obviously, the answer cannot be yes. The truth is that by applying it randomly in every case, its limited utility is also in danger of being destroyed. The central and state governments should look into the causes of the backwardness of different communities and find more effective and equitable ways to overcome them. Otherwise, the pressure of the vote bank will keep politics entangled in the tips of cheap popularity and various communities will be caught in the endless struggle to overcome backwardness.

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