He decided to consider whether his nearly three-decade-old ruling, which set the quota for the marginalized and the poor at 50% in government jobs and educational institutions, should be reconsidered.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday to consider whether its nearly three-decade-old ruling, which set the reserve for the marginalized and the poor in government jobs and educational institutions at 50%, should be reviewed.

In 1992, a bench of nine court judges fired the “Lakshman rekha” for a 50% job and education reservation, except in “extraordinary circumstances”.

However, over the years, several states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have crossed the rubicon and passed laws that allow reservation shooting over 60%.

Maratha Quota Law

A bench of five judges led by Judge Ashok Bhushan on Monday, set up to hear the challenge to the Maratha quota law, decided not to limit the issue of the reserve exceeding the 50% limit to Maharashtra alone. .

The Chamber broadened the scope of the case by making other states parties and inviting them to state their position on whether the reservation should continue to remain within the 50% limit or not.

March 15 hearing

Judge Bhushan, head of the Constitutional Chamber, decided to start the hearing from March 15, leaving time for other states to prepare their arguments.

The court, meanwhile, formulated a series of questions, including whether Indira Sawhney’s 1992 verdict, setting the 50% quota limit, should be reconsidered by a larger bench of more than nine judges.

Another question is whether the Maharashtra State Reservation Act 2018 for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (ESCB), which provides 12% to 13% quota benefits to the Maratha community, and hence , by raising the percentage of reservations in the State beyond the 50% mark. was enacted under “extraordinary circumstances”.

The Indira Sawhney judgment had categorically stated that “50% will be the rule, only in certain exceptional and extraordinary situations to bring the population of remote and remote areas into the mainstream, the 50% rule can be relaxed”.

The tribunal will also consider whether the Maharashtra State Retrograde Classes Commission under the chairmanship of Judge NG Gaikwad constituted a case of “extraordinary circumstances” of deprivation suffered by the Maratha community, requiring the helping hand of the reserve even in the price of the crossing of the 50% line.

In fact, the Bombay High Court had, in June 2019, reduced the reservation quantum for Marathas from the 16% recommended by the Gaikwad Commission to 12% in education and 13% in employment.

An important question the bench wants to judge is whether the Constitutional Act (One Hundred Second Amendment) of 2018, which introduces the National Commission for the Backward Classes (NCBC), interferes with the power of state legislatures to provide benefits to the backward. social and educational. communities in their own jurisdiction.

The Constitution Amendment Act introduced Articles 338B and 342A into the Constitution. Section 338B deals with the newly created NCBC. Section 342A empowers the President to designate socially and educationally backward communities in a state. He says it is up to parliament to include a community in the central list for social and backward classes for the granting of reservation benefits.

The tribunal wishes to consider whether Section 342A deprives state legislatures of their discretion to include their backward communities in the state roster.

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