Mumbai: Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra has scrapped an ordinance providing reservation for Muslims, despite the Bombay High Court allowing quota for the community in educational institutions.
“An ordinance to this effect (providing a five per cent job quota) lapsed on December 23 last year,” a Maharashtra government resolution said.
“Considering this fact, the concerned government resolution issued on July 24 last year is being scrapped,” the government resolution said. In June last year, Maharashtra’s earlier Congress-NCP government had approved a 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and a five per cent for Muslims just ahead of the October 15 Assembly polls, after the Congress was routed in the general elections.
The quota was given through two separate categories,namely the Educationally and Socially Backward Category (ESBC) for Marathas as well as a Special Backward Class (Muslims) segment for the Muslims.
On November 14, 2014, the Bombay High Court had stayed implementation of the decision of the erstwhile Congress-NCP government to provide 16 per cent reservations for Marathas in jobs and education, which was announced just ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls.
The court had also stayed the Maharashtra state’s decision to provide a five per cent job reservation to Muslims in government service, but it allowed quotas for them in educational institutions. The Maharashtra state government had challenged the Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court, which refused to interfere with the interim decision of the High Court but asked the Maharashtra state government to go back to the Bombay High Court on the issue.
On January 5, this year, the Bombay High Court gave three weeks to the Maharashtra state government to file an affidavit submitting data to justify its decision to provide reservations to Marathas and Muslims in jobs as well as educational institutions.
Earlier, the Bombay High Court had said that the Supreme Court had already laid down the law for reservation as per which it cannot exceed 50 per cent of the total seats. In fact, 52 per cent of seats in government jobs and educational institutions are already reserved for targeted groups.
However, in the run up to the Maharashtra Assembly poll,the erstwhile Congress-NCP government had raised reservations to 73 per cent by announcing a 16 per cent quota for Marathas and a five per cent quota for Muslims.