The Supreme Court Strikes down Maratha Quota

The Supreme Court of India set aside the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act of 2018 declaring it unconstitutional as it violated the principles of equality enshrined in the Constitution. The High Court had, in June 2019, reduced the quantum of reservation for Marathas from the 16% recommended by the Gaikwad Commission to 12% in education and 13% in employment. The SC Bench also struck down the Maratha job and education reservations however, PG Medical Admissions under Maratha quota made till 09.09.2020 still remain. 

The Maratha quota exceeded the 50% ceiling and for such extension, there must be some exceptional circumstances and reasons. The SC thus looked into finding if there exceptional circumstances to justify the quota increase above 50%.

This judgement was delivered after analysing the representation of Marathas. The SC was of the opinion that Marathas have adequate representation in government jobs and services. It was also noted that they are not educationally or socially backward classes and hence there are no exceptional circumstances to raise the bar of reservation above 50% which was set by the Indira Shawney Case. The Supreme Court concluded that even the reduced percentages of reservation granted by the High Court were ultra vires. 

The SC relied on the concept that in such cases of reservation, what should be looked up to is adequate representation and not proportional representation. It determined based on statistics that Marathas have adequate representation and hence, raising the bar of reservation is unconstitutional under Art.16 of the constitution. 

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