Maharashtra Govt Publishes Job Recruitment Ad Under Maratha Quota, Bombay HC Asks Why
The Maharashtra government on Monday, December 10 asked by the Bombay High Court why, despite petitions challenging job recruitment under the new legislation providing reservation to Maratha community is pending before the court, it has issued an advertisement stating the same. According to the HC, the government should avoid such “irreverent situations” and provide courts with some “breathing space” so it can hear the petitions.
Maharashtra government rebuked by Bombay High Court
Further, a division bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice M S Karnik chided the government for being in such a hurry to fill up the positions even though they knew that the petitions are pending.
Petitions both challenging and in support of the government deciding to provide Maratha community 16% reservation on government jobs and educational institutions were filed, as reported by the Times of India.
It was Advocate Gunaratan Sadavarte who pointed out to the court the advertisement that the Maharashtra Public Service Commission had issued. Sadavarte was appearing in a petition which was challenging the legislation. “Applications have also been invited under the newly introduced Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) for the Maratha community,” Sadavarte told the court.
The court rebuked the government for being in such a rush to fill up the positions and issue the advertisement.
According to Chief Justice Patil, it was not technically wrong on the part of the government for doing what it did, but it should have waited considering the severeness of the matter. The court also noted that it will be a serious problem now that several people will send in their applications because they do not know that the issue is being challenged.
Appearing for the government, senior Counsel V A Thorat said that the examination will be held in July 2019 and that now only applications have been invited. Thorat was further directed by the bench to let the government instruct him on whether people are to be recruited by the state under the debated quota.
Following the state Assembly unanimously passing the Maratha Reservation Bill, earlier this month it was approved and signed by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao. A report was submitted to the government by the State Backward Class Commission seeking reservation for the Maratha Community.
“The state government cannot concentrate on one caste alone. The commission should have been asked by the government to look into all castes. Why only the Maratha community?” Advocate Pradeep Sancheti asked. Sancheti appeared for petitioner Sanjeet Shukla, the petition being challenged by him. On December 19, further hearing on the petitions will be held.
Advocate Gunaratan Sadavarte threatened
Following the adjournment of the petitions, a person shouted and abused Sadavarte, yelling “Ek Maratha Lakh Maratha” outside court premises, supporting the quota.
While Sadavarte returned and informed the bench about the incident, police whisked the man away. The court was informed by Sadavarte that he had received several threat calls in the last one week and that two unknown men were following him and his family. He has given a complaint letter to the local police.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni was directed by Chief Justice Patil to give police protection to the lawyer if required.
Fight for Maratha Reservation
While protests for the Maratha reservation were going on in full swing earlier this year, a suicide was committed by a 28-year-old protester in Aurangabad, where there were two more suicide attempts as well.
Throughout Maharashtra, the suicide sparked outrage among the Maratha community. The agitation was led by Maratha outfits such as the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM), Maratha Kranti Samaj and Sakal Maratha Samaj.
“Silent” protests have been held across the state by Maratha outfits over the past couple of years, with lakhs of people supporting the community. There were several rallies, and August 2017 saw the 58th rally which lakhs of people took part in.
The Maratha community, being politically influential, have mostly got the support of all the major political parties regarding the Maratha reservations. Roughly, 30% of Maharashtra’s population comprises the Maratha community, and aggressive campaigns have been held by the community to seek reservation for jobs and educational institutions. 16% reservation had been urged by the community by the protest, Maratha Morcha.
On November 29, the Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed the bill that would now provide 16 per cent reservation to Maratha community. The reservation has been provided to Marathas, a politically influential community in Maharashtra is under the Socially and Educationally Backward Category (SEBC) Act, 2018. The new reservation has surpassed the 50 per cent mark which was set by the Supreme Court for all the states. Till now there was a 52 per cent reservation in the state, with the new 16 per cent reservation it has reached 68 per cent.