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This Analysis of the judgement in Dr Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil vs. The Chief Minister and Ors.(Maratha Reservation Case) is written by “Tshewang Dema“, a 5th-year BA.LLB(Hons.) student at Lovely Professional University.


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

NAME OF THE CASEDr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil vs. The Chief Minister and Ors.
CITATIONCivil Appeal No. 3123 of 2020; LL 2021 SC 243
DATE OF THE CASE5th May 2021
APPELANTDr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil
RESPONDANTThe Chief Minister & Ors.
BENCH/JUDGEJustice Ashok Bhushan, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Justice L. Nageshwar Rao, Justice Hemant Gupta & Justice S. Ravindra Bhat
STATUES / CONSTITUTION INVOLVEDThe Constitution of India
IMPORTANT SECTIONS/ ARTICLESThe Constitution of India – Arts. 14, Arts. 16(4), Arts. 342(A), art 335

INTRODUCTION

Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as a governing principle[1]

~ Dr. B.R Ambedkar

The caste system in India has been followed for a long time, and it has turned into law and practice to this day. India’s caste system is perhaps the world’s longest surviving social hierarchy. A defining feature of Hinduism, caste encompasses a complex ordering of social groups based on ritual purity.[2] Differences in status are traditionally justified by the religious doctrine of karma, a belief that one’s place in life is determined by one’s deeds in previous lifetimes.

Casteism in India is known to be more than 3000 years old.[3] Casteism in simple terms means the division of the Hindus into different hierarchical groups based on an individual’s work and duty towards a particular custom or law. Hence there is division of society due to caste and the government came up with policy of reservation.

This caste system has always dominated the ruling of the society and all the major decision taken in the society had the cate factor. All the caste has lived differently in terms of living, eating, marriage and many more.

Amidst all this discrimination, the Constitution of India was drafted, and Article 15 of the Constitution talked about a total ban on discrimination based on Caste. Further, to expand the equality provisions among the castes, the authorities introduced the quota system which meant reserving seats for the traditionally disadvantaged sections in government jobs and educational institutions.

Although everyone is equal under the law as mentioned in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution but for the protective discrimination of certain category of people become necessary to treated special treatment. Where equal should be treated equally and unequal should be treated unequally. Thus, the reservation Policy in India is a process of reserving certain percentage of seats (maximum 50%) for a certain class such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward classes, etc. in Government educational institutions, government jobs, etc.

Reservation was given a place in Indian Constitution under the principle of Affirmative Action,[4] with an intention to provide a helping hand or elevation to the backward class and to bring them on the same pedestal as the forward class of the nation. But in today’s time political interests have never made this to happen and as a result, now the reservation is claimed as a matter of right by various castes.

There are protests for claiming reservation have now become a routine affair and no part of the nation is left untouched by its vices. It not only hinders the national economy, but also impinges upon the fundamental right to equality of the people. The government has also failed to percolate the benefits of reservation to the underprivileged sections of society.

In the similar manner, the Maratha Reservation Case Study, the Supreme Court of India residing of five judges constitution bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat on 5th May 2021 set aside the Maratha quota reservation provided by the Maharashtra Government under Maharashtra State Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) Reservation Act, 2018 with regard to admission in educational institutions in the State and for posts for appointments in public service and posts  dealt with total 6 issues wherein the bench was unanimous on 3 issues and fractured on the other 3 issues with a ratio of 3:2.[5]

WHAT IS THE MARATHA RESERVATION POLICY?

Maharastra government appointed a nine-member Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission headed by Justice M.G. Gaikwad. The commission recommended reservation for the Marathas in 2018.

In 2018 itself, the Maharashtra government enacted a law, it provides 16 percent reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and admissions.[6] The law termed the Maratha community as a socially and educationally backward class (SEBC). However, the Maratha reservation violated the 50% ceiling mentioned as in the Indra Sawhney case.[7]

The law was challenged in Bombay High Court. The Bombay High Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Act. But the Bombay High Court reduced the Maratha reservation to 12% in education and 13% in employment (Instead of 16%).[8] However, an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court. In this case, the Supreme Court held that the reservation is unconstitutional.

FACT OF THE CASE

Marathas are an influential class who are politically active and dominant community of Maharashtra consisting of 1/3 population of the state and they are classified as warrior caste earlier and owns a large chunk of land. Till date, the highest number of Chief Ministers are from the Maratha community only and many government services are occupied by them.

Now, the Maratha community is a Shudra agrarian Community. The economic growth and development of the state of Maharashtra depend on them and other Shudra agrarian communities. The Marathas realized that they could not compete with the Dwijas and upper-caste non-Shudra communities in getting opportunities in educational institutes and other state services; because the Dwijas, like Brahmins, Kshatriyas, etc. had education rooted in them.[9]

Moreover, the Mandal Commission Report in 1991 which gave OBCs a separate quota, did not include the Maratha Shudra Agrarian community and many other Shudra communities. Further, the reservation limit was already 50% and the inclusion of the Marathas in the already existing other backward classes quota would have made the other beneficiaries of this group angry.[10]

Owing to all this, on 29th November 2018, the Maharashtra Government passed an Act called Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 on recommendation of Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission.[11] The Gaikwad Committee recommended 12% and 13% reservation for Marathas in educational institutions and appointments in public services, respectively.

As the Act exceeded the original quota limit, its validity was challenged before the Bombay High Court with several writ petitions. During the pendency of these writ petitions, the scope of the petition was exceeded, and also several other applications were filed for intervention seeking to justify the validity of the 2018 Act.

The petitioner of the case, Jaishri Laxmanrao, filed a P. I. L. against the HC judgment that provided the Maratha community with 16% reservation under the Backward Classes Commission. He pleaded that providing reservation to the Marathas and bypassing the 50% cap on the reservation is in violation to the art(s) 14, 16, and 21.

On 12th July 2019, the Honorable Supreme Court admitted an appeal to the Bombay High Court’s decision and issued notice to the Maharashtra state government. It decided not to appeal the Bombay High Court’s decision. The preliminary issue that came up was regarding the need to refer this case to a larger bench, as it involved substantial questions of law around the interpretation of the Constitution.[12]

After hearing both the parties, the Court on 9th September 2019, in its brief, non-reportable order, decided to refer the case to a larger bench. Additionally, it halted the application of the SEBC Act for educational institutions except for Post-Graduate Medical Courses.

In September 2020 the matter was referred to a larger bench of 5 judges with the moot question if the State Government has the power to declare socially and economically classes after the 102nd amendment of the Indian Constitution.  On 8th March 2021, the top court decided to hear all States in the matter, after Senior Counsel Mukul Rohtagi, Kapil Sibal and Dr. AM Singhvi contended that the case involves issue which impacts all States since any judgment in the matter could impact the powers of the State to extend reservation to socially and educationally backward classes.[13]

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The “Maratha” is a Hindu group that is mostly found in Marashtra. The quest for reservation among Marathas in Maharashtra, had started long back when two commissions, namely, Khatri Commission and Bapat commission, were constituted in 1995 and 2008 respectively, and both had recommended not to include Marathas in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category. Further in January 1979 the Mandal Commission[14] was formed under the chairmanship of BP Mandal was constituted to identify socially or educationally backward classes in India, had also declared Marathas to be a ‘forward class’.

Following the implementation of the Indian Constitution, the President of India appointed a Commission under Article 240 to investigate the conditions of all such socially and educationally backward classes. The first National Commission for Backward Classes did not identify the Maratha as a backward class community in the state of Bombay, and stated, “In Maharashtra, besides the Brahman, it is the Maratha who claimed to be the ruling community in the villages, and the Prabhu, that dominated all other communities”.[15]

Later the second National Backward Classes Commission classified the Maratha as an advance Hindu caste. Hence, The National Commission for Backward Classes held a public hearing in Mumbai, and after hearing from government officials, the Chairman of the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission submitted a detailed report concluding that the Maratha community is not a socially or educationally backward class, but rather a socially advanced and prestigious group.

However, on 9th July 2014, 16% reservation was recommended for the Marathas by Narayan Rane Commission.[16] Based upon the recommendations of the Rane Commission, Maharashtra government has come up with an ordinance, wherein they have reserved 16% seats in educational institutions and jobs for Marathas and 5% seats for Muslims.

The ordinance was stayed by the Bombay High Court on the ground that it was in breach of the ceiling limit of 50% and there was no extraordinary situation to justify the breach. The court has relied on a well-settled principle that “the rule of 50% was a binding rule and not a mere rule of prudence”

Agitations in Maharashtra for Maratha reservation have not stopped with the Bombay High Court judgment. Marathas have continued to exert pressure on the state government by various means, such as by organizing massive rallies, destructing public property, obstructing rail services, resorting to violence, etc. This had forced the State government to constitute the M.G. Gaikwad commission to identify the backwardness of the Marathas in 2017,[17] which submitted its report in 2018, with a recommendation to declare Marathas as ‘socially and educationally backward community’.

On 4th January 2017, the Maharashtra state government issued a notification establishing the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission. The Commission, chaired by Justice Gaikwad, recommended 12% and 13% reservation for Marathas in educational institutions and appointments in public services, respectively.

The government has effectuated the recommendation made by the commission and passed the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 on 29th November 2018 for reserving 16% seats in educational institutions and jobs for Marathas. This took the total reservation count in the state to 68%, which was above the ceiling limit of 50%.

Three lead petitions, as well as numerous additional writ petitions, were filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 constitutional legitimacy.

The following were the main points made in the three lead petitions:[18]

  1. The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 is illegal because it goes above the Indra Sawhney v. Union of India[19] reservation ceiling of 50%.
  2. The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 bases reservations on the Justice Gaikwad Commission report, which lacks credible, scientific, and sufficient evidence to support either the backwardness of Marathas or the unusual circumstance of raising Maharashtra reservations from 52 per cent to 68 per cent.
  3. The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 creates a separate class of reservation for Marathas who do not belong to the OBC category, infringing on Articles 14, 16, and 19 of the Constitution by bestowing special privileges on them.
  4. By explicitly overruling the High Court’s 2014 and 2016 orders, the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 infringes on judicial power.
  5. The 102nd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2018 specified procedural procedures, yet the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 was approved without them.

Thus, it was challenged in the Bombay High Court in the case of Jishri Laxmanrao Patil v. State of Maharashtra[20] wherein the court has upheld the Constitutional validity of the SEBC Act, 2018. However, the court has reduced the quantum of reservation from 16% to 12% in education and 13% in jobs, as 16% reservation was not justifiable.

Numerous appeals were filed before the Supreme Court of India against the verdict of the Bombay High Court with regard challenging the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 passed by the State of Maharashtra.

THE CONTENTION OF PARTIES

The primary arguments which were raised in front of the Bombay High Court were mainly that, the Act exceeded the 50% limit on the reservation which was brought in the case of Indra Sawhney v Union of India and that the Act was unconstitutional.

Another contention was that the Gaikwad Commission Report was flawed and unscientific. Moreover, the Act violates Article 14, Article 16, and Article 19 of the Constitution of India as it gives a special reservation to the Marathas. And finally, the Act was passed without following the requirements given in the 102nd Amendment of the Constitution of India which the Bombay High Court on 27th July 2019 upheld the validity of the Act.[21]

THE ISSUES OF THE CASE[22]

The Constitution Bench framed 6 questions to address:

  1. Whether the judgment in Indra Sawhney needs to be referred to a larger bench for a ‘re-look’ in the light of subsequent Constitutional Amendments, judgments and changed social dynamics etc.?
  2. Whether the SEBC Act, 2018 as amended in 2019 granting 12% and 13% reservation for Maratha community in addition to 50% reservation is covered by ‘exceptional circumstances’ in Indra Sawhney’s case, allowing a breach of the 50% limit?
  3. Whether the Maharashtra State Backward Commission Report chaired by M.C. Gaikwad has made out a case of existence of extraordinary situation and exceptional circumstances in the State to fall within the exception carved out in the judgment of Indra Sawhney?
  4. Whether the 102nd Amendment deprives the State Legislature of its power to enact a legislation determining the socially and economically backward classes and conferring the benefits on the said community under its enabling power?
  5. Whether States power to legislate in relation to “any backward class” under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) is anyway abridged by Article 342A read with Article 366(26c) of the Constitution of India?
  6. Whether Article 342A of the Constitution abrogates States power to legislate or classify in respect of “any backward class of citizens” and thereby affects the federal structure of the Constitution of India?

REASONING AND JUDGMENT

The hearing in the matter was done for 10 days from 15th March to 26th March 2021 where the judgment in the matter was reserved on 26th March 2021. The order was pronounced on 5th May 2021 wherein the Maratha reservation was held to be unconstitutional.

While pronouncing the judgment, the five-judge bench gave out a 569 pages verdict with 3:2 ratio and the bench’s view on questions 1, 2 and 3 were unanimous.[23] The Hon’ble Supreme Court has also dealt with the question of quantum of reservation in the landmark case of M.R. Balaji v. State of Mysore[24], wherein the court has fixed the ceiling limit of 50% for reservation under Article 15(4)[25] and asserted that providing reservation beyond 50% would nullify the purpose behind Article 15(1).  There was precluding the need to rethink the validity of the 1992 Indra Sawhney judgment case, which fixed the 50% reservation bar.

As the Honourable Supreme Court observed that the issue that had been decided by the court in the case of Indra Sawhney v Union of India[26] that established the rule that the reservation under Article 16(4) of the Constitution of India should not exceed 50% except in exceptional circumstances. Even in the case of M. Nagaraj vs. Union of India[27], the same decision was upheld.

Honourable Supreme Court of India also observes that there was no need to review the landmark decision in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India,[28]. Changing the 50% restriction would result in a society that is based on caste dominance rather than equality. Democracy is an important aspect of Constitution and a fundamental part of our system. If the reservation exceeds the acceptable 50% level, it will be a slippery slope, since political pressure will make it difficult to lower it. As a result, the response to the issue is that the 50% figure will arrived at based on the principle of reasonability and accomplishes equality as established in Article 14 of which Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India are aspects.

Referring to the case M. Nagaraj vs. Union of India[29], the Constitution Bench noted that while providing reservation, the State is required to investigate the existence of compelling reasons, such as overall administrative efficiency. Reserving 12% and 13% seats in favour of Marathas, who have just a 30% share in the total population of the State, will take the total reservation count to 64% and 65%. Further, reserving most of the seats for backward classes will restrict the entry of the general meritorious class in public employment and therefore, it will directly affect the efficiency of the operations in the State.

Thus, the Court unanimously held that there were no exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of reservation to Marathas more than 50% ceiling limit as a Socially and Economically Backward Class in violates the principle of equality as embedded in Article 16 of the Indian Constitution. The exceeding of the reservation limit without there being any extra-ordinary circumstances violating the Article 14 and article 16 of the Indian Constitution which makes the enactment ultra vires.

 Neither the Gaikwad Commission, the Bombay HC judgment nor the SEBC Act all have made out any situation for exceeding the ceiling of 50% reservation limit under Article 16(4) for Marathas as there were no such extraordinary circumstance for exceeding the ceiling for giving 12% and 13% reservation as read out read out the operative portion of the judgment by Justice Ashok Bhushan, the presiding judge.[30]

Several states had demanded review for the nine-judge bench decision insight of subsequent developments and alter in social dynamics. But the court stayed unmoved. The court justified its decision by stating that there is no authoritative pronouncement on the interpretation of the provisions inserted by the Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018, which directly address the state government’s authority to declare a caste as socially and educationally backwards.

Honorable Supreme Court also observed that the court followed the judgement in Health for Millions v. Union of India[31], which said that in cases involving a challenge to the constitutionality of the law, the court should not give an interim order. The court did note, however, that there is no absolute rule for restraining the interim order in cases where the enactment is ex facie unconstitutional or contrary to the law laid down by the Apex Court, or where factors such as the balance of convenience, irreparable injury, or public interest are involved.

On questions 4, 5 and 6, Justices Rao, Gupta and Bhat were in agreement. They held that the 102nd Constitutional Amendment introduced Article 338B known as the National Commission for Backward Classes that did take away ‘States’ powers to identify backward classes. Only the President as per Article 342A of Indian Constitution can notify a list that identifies them which Parliament can amend thereafter.

States can only make recommendations under Article 338B of the Constitution of India for inclusion, exclusion or modification of the castes or communities in the list to be published under Article 342Aof the Constitution of India, using existing processes or even statutory commissions. However, until that notification is published, which should be done expeditiously, the existing setup would continue.[32]

In this case, the Justice Ashok Bhushan agreed with this stand taken by the Centre. “It is, thus, clear as sun light that Parliamentary intention discernible from Select Committee report and statement of Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment is that the intention of the Parliament for bringing Constitutional amendment was not to take away the power of the State to identify backward class in the State”.[33]

However, the majority (comprising L Nageswara Rao, Justices Hemant Gupta and Ravindra Bhat) held the 102nd Constitution Amendment had the effect of taking away the power of States to identify SEBCs.

Thus, the majority held that the power of identification of SEBCs hitherto exercised by the states and now shifted to the domain of the President by virtue of Article 342A (1) of the Constitution of India, which shall be deemed to include Socially and Educationally Backward Classes by the Commission established under Article 338B of the Constitution of India, whose assistance will also be sought by the state in respect to policies that may be developed by it.

If the commission develops a report on identity issues, it must be shared with the state government, which is obligated to act on it in compliance with the provision of Article 338B. However, the President (i.e., the Central Government, under Article 342A(1) of the Constitution of India, because of Article 367 of the Constitution of India read with Section 3 (8) (b) General Clauses Act makes the ultimate determination.

Except for the designation of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, the states’ ability to create reservations in favour of certain groups or castes, the number of reservations, the type of benefits and the sort of reservations, and all other subjects coming within the scope of Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India remain unaffected.

The President shall publish the notification containing the list of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes concerning states and union territories, for the Constitution, as soon as the Commission established under Article 338B of the Constitution of India completes its job and makes its recommendations.

Subsequently, the Maharashtra government has granted reservation to Marathas by creating the SEBC Act, 2018 and as a result, made the judicial pronouncement made by the court in Sanjeet Shukla case[34] ineffective. However, the defect of the nonexistence of any extraordinary circumstances required for surpassing the ceiling limit of 50%, has not been cured by the legislature and thus, the action of the legislature to overturn the judicial decision, is unlawful in nature.

Justices Bhushan and Nazeer however concluded that the Parliament did not intend to take away from the States its power to identify their backward classes. But they nevertheless upheld the validity of the Amendment Act.

Hence, the Supreme Court struck down the reservation law to the Maratha community and this ruling is likely to impact other reservation laws under the category of exceptional circumstances as well on the reservations of economically weaker sections of the society that have access to the 50% limit.

RECOMMENDATION AND SUGGESTION 

As far as concerned on the facts of the case, the arguments laid down in the SC, and the decision passed by the 5-judge panel, the rationale of Justice Ashok Bhushan seems to be more balanced and have accurately interpretated and addresses all the points of the issues clearly and concisely. This case proves the intention of the Government behind the 102nd amendment and submitted before the court that the 102nd Constitutional amendment will not affect the power of the state in the matter of identification of the socially and economically backward classes and the Government has no intention of taking away the rights of the States in this regard.

According to the Mandal Commission report, around 74% of the population in India comes under the category of “Backward Class” which includes SC, ST and OBC.[35]

If the Government collectively focused in making ‘backward class’ then remaining population will also start demanding reservation, then there will be situation worse than a nightmare for developing country like India. Therefore, there should be extraordinary exceptional in issuing of reservation that will eventually fulfill Article 14, 15 and 16 effectively.

Moreover, in this case Maharashtra which is one of the developed states should revisit their demand for reservation that will help bringing other state in position to wisely choose category into reservation and make transparency in the law-making process and would put back the lost faith of the people in the process.

The government must remove the well-off sections from the reservation policy. The government can achieve this by moving away from reservation based on a citizen’s conditions rather than community-based reservations

As rightly pointed out in this case, the parliament should have the final decision to reserve for the backward class category otherwise the state government to have advantage in their side will include all the caste under the backward classes that this case eventually made unconstitutionally of the SEBC Act 2018 in rightly manner.

The Attorney General Mr. KK Venugopal in this case referred an affidavit filed by the Union Government in Dinesh B vs Union of India & Ors.[36] where the stand of the Union Government is made clear from paragraph 11 of the affidavit filed which is as follows:

“…That, from the above, it is evident that the power to identify and specify the SEBCs lies with Parliament, only with reference to the Central List of SEBCs. The State Governments may have their separate State Lists of SEBCs for the purpose of providing reservation in recruitment to State Government services or admission in State Government educational institutions. The castes/communities included in such State Lists of SEBCs may differ from the castes/communities included in the Central List of SEBCs. It is submitted that the inclusion or exclusion of any caste or community in the State List of SEBCs is the subject of the concerned State Government and the Government of India has no role in the matter.”

The Apex Court has held in C.A. Rajendran v. Union of India[37], that Article 16(4) neither imposes any constitutional duty on the government to provide reservation nor confers any fundamental right on any individual to claim reservation. The State government is not bound to genuflect before the demands of the protesting community. Rather, they should endeavour to find some other way to deal with the backwardness of any individual or community as otherwise, it would impair the rights of the general meritorious classes.

India have initially adopted the reservation policy for the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes for period of ten years and the same was to be reconsidered after ten period. However, the reconsideration has not yet been done. Reservation is provided to help the backward class in achieving an equal status vis-à-vis forward class in the society. It is a misuse of this process when reservations are provided repeatedly across generations of families.

For example, if a person in a family become an IAS officer, then he becomes a socially educationally and financially forward person ad no more remains backward. Later their children will also avail the reservation too. Instead, it should be one-time reservation as once the officer became forward class then he can afford all expenditure that other forward class can for his children. Therefore, a one-time reservation policy is required to be adopted, wherein the benefits of reservation can be availed by only one generation in a family which will eventually help in percolating the benefits of reservation to the people who are in real need of it and preventing its use to the detriment of the general meritorious people

The reports of the Backward Commission must made public to have transparency and openness in considering to be important element of the rule of law for the society. Further, there is right to received information and have freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution which was not exercised in this case.

Instead, it is seen in this case that the SEBC Act, 2018 was legislated by the State of Maharashtra on the recommendation of the M.G. Gaikwad Commission report which has never made available in the public domain. The State of Maharashtra have made baseless excuse about the report containing Maratha community’s history and thereby, release of the report in public domain may result in communal tension and disruption of law and order in the State.

Therefore, the government must be obliged to make the report public as otherwise it would strike directly upon the right of the people to receives information and would turn the whole rulemaking process vague. Additionally, releasing such reports in public will strengthen the faith of public in the law-making process and make people realize about the reservation is provided only based on some quantifiable data and not merely to meet someone’s political end.

CONCLUSION

In striking down the separate reservation, the Supreme Court has underscored the importance of adhering to the 50% limit on total reservation that upheld the need to justify any excess by showing the existence of exceptional circumstance. The huge cry over the Maratha reservation has come to an end, with the legislation of the SEBC Act, 2018 by the State legislature. Reservations, to repeat the often-repeated aphorism, are for parity and not charity.[38]

A lot of questions have been raised over the constitutional validity of the said legislation, as it has taken the total reservation count to 68% and therefore, the same was challenged. In affirming the tests laid down in Indra Sawhney on these aspects, the Court has ensured that the tool of reservations does not become an exercise in distributing political patronage among dominant castes but kept for social justice purposes.

 The Bombay High Court has upheld the validity of the SEBC Act, 2018 and has provided 12% reservation in education and 13% reservation in jobs, in favour of the Marathas. The argument raised, calling for a relook at the 50% limit, was rebutted with a somewhat bizarre reasoning, raising the 50% limit almost to the level of a basic feature of the Constitution. Patil therefore has implications not only for the pending cases relating to reservations for dominant castes but will also have an impact on the validity of the 102nd amendment.[39]

Therefore, after understanding this case law the Maratha cannot be classified as backward on the basis of the existing data provided in the report which was laymen excused. Even if the data of the report is relied upon and Marathas are conceded to be backward, they should ideally be included under the category of OBC and creation of a separate class for providing them reservation is totally unjustifiable. Hence, the State should consider the above changes while granting reservation, otherwise the time is not far when the whole nation will stake claim as ‘backward’, to become ‘forward’.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. https://blog.ipleaders.in/establishing-equality-place-caste-rule-scs-observations-case-dr-jaishree-laxmanrao-patil-v-chief-minister/
  2. https://www.iasparliament.com/current-affairs/supreme-courts-maratha-quota-verdict
  3. https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-5814-maratha-reservation-supreme-court-judgment.html
  4. https://www.scobserver.in/journal/sco-explains-maratha-reservations-hearings-the-50-rule-3-4/
  5. https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/supreme-court-strikes-down-maratha-reservation-law-upholds-50-percent-cap-indra-sawhney
  6. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/maratha-quota-in-excess-of-50-ceiling-limit-unconstitutional-supreme-court-173617
  7. https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/tag/50-reservation/
  8. https://www.livelaw.in/columns/maratha-quota-co-operative-societies-cases-divergent-views-supreme-court-ratification-97th-102nd-constitutional-amendments-178820

[1] The Indian Express, available at: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/ambedkar-jayanti-2018-br-ambedkar-babasaheb-quotes-images-birth-anniversary-5134382/ (last visited on 3rd September 2022).

[2] Jati: the caste system in India, available at: https://asiasociety.org/education/jati-caste-system-india (last visited on 3rd September 2022).

[3] Ibid

[4] Reservation in India, available at: https://www.drishtiias.com/to-the-points/Paper2/reservation-in-india (last visited on 3rd September 2022).

[5] Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil vs The Chief Minister And Ors, LL 2021 SC 243

[6] Ibid

[7] Indra Sawhney v Union of India, AIR 1993 SC 477

[8] Supra 5 at

[9] Supreme Court’s flawed verdict on Maratha quota shows why factoring caste history is crucial, available at: https://theprint.in/opinion/marathas-lack-the-power-of-written-word-supreme-court-cant-ignore-it-like-communists-did/654482/ (last visited on 5th September 2022).

[10] Ibid; Maratha reservation

[11] Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil vs The Chief Minister And Ors. on 5 May, 202, available at: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/189806642/ (last visited on 5th September 2022).

[12] M/s. Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Vs. The Chief Minister & Ors., available at: https://thelawtree.akmllp.com/apex-rulings/m-s-dr-jaishri-laxmanrao-patil-vs-the-chief-minister-ors/ (last visited on 5th September 2022).

[13] Ibid: Maratha reservation

[14] Mandal Commission, available at: https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/mandal-commission/ (last visited on 5th September 2022).

[15] Maratha Reservation unconstitutional| The timeline of the case and the 3 questions that received unanimous opinions of all 5 judges, available at: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/06/maratha-reservation-unconstitutional-the-timeline-of-the-case-and-the-3-questions-that-received-unanimous-opinions-of-all-5-judges/ (last visited on 5th September 2022).

[16] Mihir R, “The Marathas’ Demand for Reservation: A Litigation History [2014-21]”, available at: https://www.scobserver.in/journal/the-marathas-demand-for-reservation-a-litigation-history-2014-21/ (last cited on 26th May 2021).

[17] Radhika Roy, “Supreme Court Strikes Down Maratha Quota; Says No Exceptional Circumstance To Grant Reservation In Excess Of 50% Ceiling Limit” available at: https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/maratha-quota-in-excess-of-50-ceiling-limit-unconstitutional-supreme-court-173617 (last cited on 5th May 2021).

[18] Ibid

[19] 1992 Suppl. (3) SCC 217

[20] Supra 5 at : Maratha reservation

[21] M/s. Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Vs. The Chief Minister & Ors., available at: https://thelawtree.akmllp.com/apex-rulings/m-s-dr-jaishri-laxmanrao-patil-vs-the-chief-minister-ors/ (last visited on 5th September 2022).

[22] Supreme Court in the case of Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Versus The Chief Minister, available at: https://www.consultease.com/supreme-court/supreme-court-in-the-case-of-dr-jaishri-laxmanrao-patil-versus-the-chief-minister/#.Yxt6XnZBzrc (last cited on 6th May 2021).

[23] Reportable Judgment of Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Versus The Chief Minister, available at: https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2019/23618/23618_2019_35_1501_27992_Judgement_05-May-2021.pdf (last visited on 5th September 2022).

[24] M.R. Balaji v State of Mysore, AIR 1963 SC 649

[25] State of Madras v Smt. Champakam Dorairajan, AIR 1951 SC 226

[26] Supra 7 at

[27] (2006) 8 SCC 212,

[28] 1992 Suppl. (3) SCC

[29] AIR 2007 SC 71

[30] Radhika Roy, “Supreme Court Strikes Down Maratha Quota; Says No Exceptional Circumstance To Grant Reservation In Excess Of 50% Ceiling Limit” available at: https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/maratha-quota-in-excess-of-50-ceiling-limit-unconstitutional-supreme-court-173617 (last cited on 6th May 2021).

[31]  CC 22186-22187/2012

[32] Ashok Kini, “Maratha Quota & Co-operative Societies Cases : Divergent Views Of Supreme Court On Need For Ratification Of 97th & 102nd Constitutional Amendments”, available at: https://www.livelaw.in/columns/maratha-quota-co-operative-societies-cases-divergent-views-supreme-court-ratification-97th-102nd-constitutional-amendments-178820 (last cited on 4th August 2021).

[33] Ibid

[34] Sanjeet R. Shukla vs The State Of Maharashtra, 2053 OF 2014

[35] Indira Sawhney v. Union of India, AIR 1993 SC 447

[36] Writ Petition (C) No. 12 of 2021

[37] AIR 1968 SC 507

[38] KC Vasantha Kumar v State of Karnataka, 1985, SCR Supl (i) 352

[39] Establishing equality in place of caste rule : SC’s observations in the case of Dr. Jaishree Laxmanrao Patil v. Chief Minister, available at: https://blog.ipleaders.in/establishing-equality-place-caste-rule-scs-observations-case-dr-jaishree-laxmanrao-patil-v-chief-minister/ (last cited on July 22, 2021).

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