The Central Government recently filed a review petition in the Supreme Court of India over its judgement on Maratha reservation in Maharashtra. The Supreme Court of India had pronounced that the Maratha reservation under the Maharashtra law breaches the 50 per cent ceiling of reservation. Thus, the apex court struck down the Maharashtra law.

GoI Statement

According to Central Government, only the GoI has the power under the 102nd Constitutional Amendment to identify and list the socially and economically backward classes.

State Government Statement

The population of the backward classes in the state of Maharashtra constitutes to 85 per cent of the state’s population. However, the reservation limit is only 50 per cent. Thus, the socially and economically backward communities should be provided reservation.

102nd Constitutional Amendment

This amendment inserted Article 338B and Article 342A.

Article 338B: The amendment provided constitutional status to the National Backward Classes Commission.

Article 342A: It gives the President powers to notify backward classes.

Supreme Court of India Judgement

After the amendment was passed, several state governments filed cases in the Supreme Court of India against this amendment. This was because, the State Government had lost its power to identify the backward classes under the amendment.

To this the SC interpreted the amendment in its verdict as follows:

  • Only the president is empowered to identify the Socially and Economically Backward Classes.
  • The States can only make recommendations.

Issue

The recent striking of Maharashtra law contradicts the Supreme Court verdict pronounced earlier.

Maratha Quota Issue Centre file Case in Supreme Court Maratha Quota Issue Centre file Case in Supreme Court